Middle School, Bréal-sous-Montfort (FR)

The middle school sits below the level of the houses to limit its visual impact on the landscape. Forming a very low horizontal line above the ground, it faces the farming plains to the southwest. On the ground floor, the large bay windows frame the landscape like a theater stage. The base of the side facades and the enclosing walls are cladded with a local pink schist rock. The wooden structure of the upper floor sits lightly on this solid base. Sunshades made of solid Douglas fir help to regulate the sunlight on the main facade. All materials are intentionally used to fit in with the local surroundings and for their durability, in order to limit additional maintenance costs.
The space connecting the entrance hall to the covered playground is the school’s central point, housing the areas for extra-cullicular activities and the library, as well as the administration. Natural light floods into the heart of the building through several skylights. In the classrooms, windows looking into the corridors let in plenty of indirect sunlight, complementing the large bay windows in the façade, which open out onto the wooded landscape. On the upper floor, the walkways have alternating solid wood and glass panels. This rural college also incorporates solutions, which have proved successful in other schools already built in France, in Broons and Lamballe, to create simple, warm spaces in an atmosphere ideal for learning.

Client: Département d’Ille et Vilaine
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Competition: 2017
Area: 6,754 m²

structural engineering concrete: Espace Ingénierie, Saint-Brieuc / structural engineering timber: QSB, Lannion / HAVCR, building physics: Inex / acoustics: Acoustibel, Chavanne