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D'Houndt + Bajart turns schooltime into adventure at le Roc extension

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Naming le Roc a school extension by D’Houndt + Bajart is no accident. The studio injected a floating rock-like structure into the residential neighbourhood of Tourcoing, France. Interconnecting two separate educational institutions, the new building houses a common school canteen, and further spaces for educational purposes and other activities. The architects were directly inspired by natural rock formations, mainly the grand Canyon, and also draw on literary sources including Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth or even Krakauer’s Into the Wild. With such allusions they wanted incorporate the notions of adventure and freedom into the building, concepts that are integral part of children’s lives even if they are taking part in organised education.

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The outer’s rock-like covering was made with shotcrete technique that was finally moulded and hand-carved by a craftsman. Its pinkish tone takes a nod to the surrounding traditional brickwork, but the rough surface brings in a sense of novelty. The coarseness of the “rock part” is counterbalanced by the interior white walls, the ground, and the woodwork. The ground floor features a sheltered entrance space with a row of slender, white columns, reminiscent of tree branches. This solution brings in a forest-analogy, further enforcing the sense of adventure the architects intended to evoke.

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The rest of the interior is also kept in white mostly, with the outer rock surface appearing here and there. The canteen, placed on the second floor, can be approached from various routes, featuring separate entries for elementary school students and little children from the kindergarten, whose motion needs more supervision. For the corridors, all joints, foot barriers were removed and corners were minimised between spaces, ensuring a smooth transition and free movement of body and mind. With le Roc, D’Houndt + Bajart managed to fuse the seemingly far-reaching concepts of the freedeom of adventure and institutionalised education.

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Pictures courtesy of D'Houndt + Bajart
Source: Domus

School , Education , France , Canteen

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PLEASE COMPLETE, SO WE KNOW YOU ARE HUMAN

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