Ecole Internationale de Manosque, Manosque, France
Exemplary design categories: comfort, energy efficiency, green school, integrated servicesHow the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
This international school has been built primarily to provide education for the children of staff working at ITER, an international project that is currently building the world’s largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor. Students at the school represent 34 different nationalities.
The school's external façade is guarded by a colonnade of 280 unevenly spaced precast concrete pillars. From within, its architecture evokes the Roman and Mediterranean heritage of the area, with a series of single-storey buildings enclosing courtyards and play areas. The main circulation routes are open to the sky, and crisscrossed by horizontal beams producing strong variations of light and shade.
The school has been designed to meet high environmental standards. Buildings are well protected to minimise heat loss, with reinforced insulation in the walls and green roofs. Most rooms benefit from natural light and ventilation, system of stackable enamelled aluminium blinds to regulate direct sunlight. A double-flow ventilation system is deployed to reduce heat loss. The central heating system is powered by a wood boiler, solar collectors have been installed to heat the water used in the boarding school, the restaurant and staff accommodation, and the roof of the gymnasium is covered by a photovoltaic membrane, which it is estimated will produce around 55MWh a year.
Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
A participatory Steering Committee was established at the request of the Regional Council to consult both the local and surrounding communities about the new school.
Activity Areas: restaurant block, nursery (8 classrooms, a room for physical education and a quiet room), boarding school, administration, primary block (14 classrooms), cultural hub (4 visual art studios, 2 music rooms, an amphitheatre and a multipurpose room), gymnasium, secondary block (28 classrooms and 15 scientific and technological workshops and laboratories)
Project costs: EUR 56,100,000.00
Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"