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.
morieres les Avignon in Montpellier, France by N+B Architectes
April 26th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: N+B Architectes
The Secondary School of Morières-lès-Avignon is part of the landscape around the city. It is located near the A7 motorway and is topped by a way station. It consists of different entities built for different scales and functions of the program. Thus, the topography of the place is preserved, the gradients are used to create breaks, places to live. This work of the ground allows the installation and organization of the different buildings and spaces. Each entity is part of the landscape.
Its general form of U develops around two plateau: the high mineral court and the lower plant court. A landscape project «already there», entered in the site, defi nes the location of the programmatic elements of the Secondary School. The project is then to extend, strengthen, energize, scarify the lines of force of the site.
The court is the major component of the project, the meeting place but also the transition. Its location offers direct connections with canteen, general, science and technology classrooms. This also allows an easy supervision. Here gathers the majority of the students during their free time. It is therefore necessary to propose specifi c qualities of enjoyable spaces.
Always respecting the concept of existing topography, the court follows the ground curves and is divided into two spaces separated by different levels. This scale of project is important to offer different spaces to the students, and perhaps make them aware of the richness that such diversity brings. Furthermore, treatment of the landscaped courtyard is voluntarily «urban» as a central place, mainly mineral, allowing differentiation from the gardens. The library overhangs the courtyards, and becomes the roof of the covered playground.
The massiveness of the Vers’ stone offers another way for the concrete to exist. A dialogue is born in the matter. These materials are the essential elements of the building. They offer a thermal inertia and a rhythm to facades. The volume of the multipurpose room marks the entrance of the secondary school, serving both signal and shelter for students.
The studio N+B Architectes, located in Montpellier was created by two architects DPLG, Elodie Nourrigat and Jacques Brion, they both graduated from the National and Superior School of Montpellier, France. The offi ce was founded on the base of a common will to “create”, by which they meant not to let themselves be slaves for a attractive architecture, a virtual one that would only remain conceptual, nothing but ideas. On the contrary they want their ideas to take shape, to confront them to a built architecture.
Aware that the practice of architecture requires a constant mix of cultures, an exchange with other disciplines, the studio multiplies its activities.
They participate to competitions national and international (Prize-winner for EUROPANDOM, a project to be located in Saint Pierre, Reunion Island, France; Finalist for Nam June Paik Museum Competition in Seoul, Corea; mentioned for the IAAC competition Self Suffi cient Housing), through participation to several festivals (the Festival of Lively Architecture in Paris; Eme3 in Barcelona, and the International Festival pf Gardens in Chaumont-sur-Loire), through publications of articles (editing staff for magazines of architecture, such as Techniques et Architecture, le Moniteur), and through research with the Grant Electra by the Foundation EDF.
They are both graduated in philosophy and members of the laboratory of Research Gerphau (laboratory of Research for Philosophy, Architecture and Urban Matter, supervised by Chris Younès, philosopher). They travel a lot in residence (Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto, program of researcher in residence of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture, France).
The two architects also draw from a teaching that they base on a will to “shift the glance”, they are both permanent teachers at the National and Superior School of Architecture of Montpellier. The international workshops organized since 2002, which took place in Japan, Australia, are a testimony of their implication, workshops that group together students from these different countries.
These multiple researches are tools to feed a refl ection which owes take place shape in reality. Because in their opinion, architecture is embodied in reality, it feeds with thinking to confront itself to the heaviness and the hardness of the matter which it gives shape to. They consider that being an architect is this balance between spirit and matter; it is to have a capacity of behaviour, with the part of error, hesitation and doubts it implies.
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