Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Collège de Wazemmes, Lille, France

Exemplary design categories: cultural and historical value, green school

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
Built to replace two other schools that have subsequently been closed, this college is a model of sustainable development. It was the first college in France to receive HQE (haute qualité environnementale) certification. Several measures have been taken to reduce the college’s energy usage and lower its environmental impact. The south-facing façades are shaded to stop the building becoming too hot in the summer. Rainwater is collected to supply toilets, and solar energy is used to produce hot water. Green roofs have been installed on some parts of the college. These not only provide effective insulation, they also have an aesthetic value. The roof of the single-storey dining hall has a 70cm layer of top soil. This has been planted with shrubs, and when these mature, the roof will provide an attractive prospect from the upper floors of neighbouring buildings. The construction of the school was used to provide a learning experience for future students. They were allowed to visit the site in groups and discuss the plans. The front of the school retains the old character of the area. Rather than being demolished, the building that was formerly the Hôtel de Montigny has been renovated and extensively refurbished. It now provides offices for the school administration. Immediately adjacent to this building is the historic garden, which forms the main pedestrian access into the school. The new buildings are organised around the perimeter of the rest of the plot. A two-storey block behind the old hotel completes the rectangular structure and encloses a large recreation area. This is the heart of the college, a protected space for play and social interaction, reflecting the architects’ vision of a convivial and cosmopolitan institution. The façades of the new college buildings are enlivened by swathes of vivid colour and a range of textures and finishes.

Activity Areas: classrooms, specialist facilities for science, art, technology and general education classrooms, gym, dining hall

Project costs: EUR 18,800,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"

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Drawings (4)

cafeteria floor plan (Registration required)
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cross section (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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site plan (Registration required)
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