D’Orlinde Middle School, Bretenoux (FR)


The middle school on the outskirts of Bretenoux is situated off-street and its broad western front shapes a public square. The compact organisation of the single-story building is reminiscent of the regions medieval bastides. The surrounding cantilevered canopy made of dark carbonised wood protects the building from overheating by excessive solar radiation. This restrained, closed design contrasts with the generous, communicative interiors in which light-colored wood dominates.
The rooms are clearly arranged around a central access zone delimiting the individual functional areas for teaching, school life and general services. Public facilities such as the library, the restaurant, rooms for afternoon care and the courtyard are located around a covered “marketplace”. The classrooms benefit from double-sided natural lighting. Inner courtyards and skylights allow daylight to reach far into the building’s interior. The horizontal monolith is naturally embedded in its rural surroundings and offers nonetheless a touch of urban flair at the entrance to the village.

Client: Département du Lot
Location: F-46038 Bretenoux, Département Lot (46)
Architecture : Dietrich | Untertrifaller, phBa (partner architects)
Project Management: Clement Josse
Competition: 2018
Construction: 2022-2023
Area: 4,536 m² (Collège 3,374 m², Apartments 260 m²)
Capacity: 400-450 students

structural engineering concrete: Terell, Toulouse / building services: Soconer, Toulouse / building services: GEA, Blagnac / acoustics: Gamba, Toulouse / costs: Maitrys, Limoges / landscape: Saltus, Toulon / kitchen: B.E.C.P., Panazol /// photos: Aldo Amoretti