Grande Prairie Educational Centre, Rennes (FR)

To provide the best possible care for the children from the Courrouze ZAC, the city of Rennes is planning to build the Grande Prairie Education Centre. The project includes a school for 460 pupils in 16 classes (7 pre-school classes and 9 primary classes), a day-care centre for about 60 children, as well as sports facilities and a leisure centre. The new Grande Prairie Education Centre is an important part of the ZAC de la Courrouze, a comprehensive urban regeneration scheme designed to give a new identity to the south-west of Rennes.

A campus on the scale of children

We designed the Grande Prairie Education Centre as a campus. The buildings are arranged around spaces for meeting, teaching and leisure, which act as an orientation point and pulsating heart. All shared functions are located in the centre of the building complex, where the main traffic axes intersect. They are interwoven with the break areas, offer a view to the outside and provide plenty of light inside.

The plinth allows for a very clear reading of the project from the outside through façade projections. The main entrance is characterised by a strong recess in the south façade. The distinction between the mineral plinth and the glazed and metallic storeys also reflects the spatial organisation of the building: the shared functions in the plinth differ from the more specific functions of the individual buildings.

The neighbourhood is characterised by different, overlapping historical layers from its military and industrial past. The challenge was to create a connection between the existing and the future urban landscape. Thus, the base picks up the existing grid and the materiality of the walls of the former cartridge factory and, with its brick façade, blends harmoniously into the surroundings. To the south, it is oriented towards the new façades of the neighbourhood. To the east, it forms the boundary between the park and the urban fabric.

Client: City of Rennes
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Competition: 2017
Area: 5.700 m²
Program: Primary school, pre-school, kindergarten, crèche, sports facilities, cafeteria

Statics timber: QSB, Lannion / statics concrete: Lotoux Espace, Ploufragan / building services: Thalem, Bruz / landscape: Setur, Chartres-de-Bretagne / renderings: Dietrich | Untertrifaller