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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Marcel Sembat high school in Sotteville lès Rouen, France by archi5 with B. Huidobro

August 25th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: archi5 with B. Huidobro

The Marcel Sembat high school in Sotteville-lès-Rouen has the particularity to be crossed by a street and so is separated in two parts reconnected by a bridgebuilding. A public park is located straight on the south side of the site. The entire school is divided in six buildings of different periods, from 30’s to 90’s.

Night View (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

  • Architects: archi5 with B. Huidobro
  • Project: Marcel Sembat high school
  • Location: Sotteville lès Rouen, France
  • Client: Haute Normandie district.
  • Surface: 12 764 m²
  • Cost: 34 373 000 Euros without taxes
  • Time-table: competition winner October 2005 – Completion 2011
  • Software used: Autocad for all the plans and Photoshop for renderings

Day View (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

  • Steel structure size: 83 x 141 m
  • Steel structure weight: 1000 tons
  • Architecture and urbanism agency: archi5prod
  • Engineer: IOSIS Ouest
  • Economist: SPEC
  • Acoustic engineer: ABC Décibel
  • Steel structure contractor: Constructions métalliques Charondière
  • Main contractor: Millery Colas
  • Photographer: Thomas Jorion


Sklight (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

The project is a rehabilitation and an extension of the high school. We are presenting here the biggest part of this project, the one that gives his visual identity: the new workshops building. This part of the Marcel Sembat high school is dedicated to technical teaching about motors and vehicles mechanic. It demands big spaces with high heights and important surfaces.

Detail (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

We opted for simple and easy understandable project, include workshops at the park with smooth lines which are connected to the park floor with their declivity. We proposed the demolition of two buildings, the reorganization of the workshops and the teaching spaces of industrial technology. We gather in a building unit all functions related to the workshops. The building starts at the boundary of the park and fits naturally to the site by the wavy design of its vegetated roof to varying curves and low height. The slight oscillations reveal the fringes of a park in motion in the trees shades.

View From Park (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

The main ideas of our proposal are, to find a unity and identity of the school in the whole site, to integrate and connect the high school and the park with the particular shape of the “blades”. We also wanted to create a public space around the crossing street by making a great plaza in front of the new workshops building. And finally our purpose was restoring the views and transparency to the outdoors, and perspectives on public space and landscapes. For that we used glass and translucent polycarbonate on the frontages. We also created some little patios between the “blades” to make skylights.

Ground Floor View (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

The unity between the two sites around the crossing street is ensured by the creation of a new public space which will be surrounded by a new library oh the east side. This future “plaza” will be in the same time a meeting space, a walking or restoring area and the main access way to the high school.

Workshops2 (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

The new workshops are completed since this year and students and professors are taking possession of their new spaces. The site will be fully used from the next school year beginning in September.

Workshops (Image Courtesy Thomas Jorion)

Master Plan

Roof Detail


Workshops Section1

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Categories: Autocad, Photoshop, School

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