Collège Jean Monnet, Broons (FR)

The all-day school north of Broons, a community with 3000 inhabitants is one of the most important educational institutions in Brittany. 570 students between the ages of 11 and 14 from 29 communities attend the school. Along the schoolyard wall to the east, a promenade with newly planted sycamore trees creates a pleasant pedestrian connection to the town center. Situated in a semi-rural area, the design integrates sensitively into the landscape to minimize its visual impact and is committed to the concept of a modern school.

The three-story school wing stretches across the entire width of the plot where it forms an angle with the single-story cafeteria at the western edge of the property. The extensive vegetation on its roof transitions smoothly into the lawn area. The exterior wall, the canteen and the ground floor of the school wing surround the playground. Its entrance is located on the narrow street side and is well protected from weather effects.

Client: Département des Côtes d’Armor
Location: F-22250 Broons
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller & Colas Durand Architectes
Project management: Ulrike Bale-Gabriel
Competition: 2012
Construction: 2013-2015
Area: 5,500 m²
Capacity: 600 students

Awards: Prix d’Architecture de Bretagne 2016, Prix Nationale de la Construction Bois 2016

statics: Espace Ingénierie, Saint-Brieuc / timber construction: QSB Ingénerie, Lannion / HAVCR: Armor Ingénierie, Langueux / acoustics: Acoustibel, Chavagne / costs: M2C, Lamballe / sustainability: Act Environnement, Loos-en-Gohelle

builder: Scobat, Trégueux / timber construction: Charpentes EMG, Châtelaudren-Plouagat / carpenter exterior: Fraboulet, Trévé / carpenter interior: Le Marchand, Le Quillio

Photos: © Frédéric Baron

2018 | 07 Séquences Bois Collège Jean Monnet Broons | 2016 | 06 Die Presse Collège Broons | 2016 | 03 EXE Collège Jean Monnet Broons | 2015 | 12 Le Moniteur Collège Broons

Clear Organization

The clear, concise spatial organization enables optimal workflows. The three-story hall occupies the middle of the building. The bridges of the horizontal access paths of the upper levels span a spatially attractive network with numerous views providing clarity and orientation. The basement houses the auditorium, a multifunctional hall and administration offices. The 16 classrooms and 9 special classes on the two upper floors get daylight from at least two sides. The two-story library is located at the front of the building.


High windows placed between classrooms and corridors allow indirect light to flow through. Large windows in the class¬rooms offer expansive views of the landscape. When the shades are deployed, the lower window bays still offer seated students views to the outside. The extremely generous supply of natural light along with the generous views and perspectives shape the atmosphere in the classrooms.

Tough Interior Design

Light wood, robust exposed concrete, fresh red and lots of glass characterize the interiors. Bridges with solid wood balustrades and transparent metal railings, forming a guidance and orientation system, cross the glass-covered atrium. Its large skylight filters light into every part of the building.

Although all of the building surfaces are distinguished by their sturdiness, durability and low maintenance, they are also largely responsible for creating the school’s warm and friendly character – especially the high wood content.


Two-story greenhouses, opening into the central area and visible from the classrooms through horizontal window bands, provide the building with generous green.

Hybrid Timber Construction

The school building consists of two levels of hybrid timber construction on a concrete base. The classroom wing is clad with natural fir. The two reinforced concrete cores of the ground floor contain escape staircases and ancillary rooms. Natural materials are used throughout, further reinforcing the architectural style and its poetry. All materials were chosen for their durability and ease of maintenance. Natural and untreated materials also refer to local building traditions, such as the yellow granite concrete aggregate from the region used for the ground floor façade. The design reveals a commitment to a high standard of building ecology.

The compact shape of the building, high-quality insulation, optimum orientation and natural lighting enable excellent energy values and passive standards.