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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.

Groupe Scolaire Lucie Aubrac in Allée de Bourgogne, Nanterre by Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes

June 9th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes

The school is distinguished by its spatial organization and design of the facades of their surroundings. The free form differentiates the building from its environment of rigid social housing characterizing the area ‘Province de France’ in Nanterre. There is a relationship point of view (a view relation) with the Paris business district La Défense. The highly frequented, Route Nationale 314 runs west to the school building. The site was excavated and earth mound planted.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

  • Architects: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
  • Project: Groupe Scolaire Lucie Aubrac
  • Location: Allée de Bourgogne, Nanterre
  • Client: Mairie de Nanterre
  • Project team leader: DI Katja Pargger
  • Team planning: Mathias Neveling, Anna Zottl, An Vranken, Markus Himmel, Jeanne Stern, Maria Joao Pita
  • Team Competition: DI Katja Pargger, chef de projet; Barbara Fellmann, DI Dorit Boehme, Petra Meisenbichler

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

  • Bet Acoustics: Peutz & Associés
  • Control Office: APAVE
  • Sps Coordinator: QUALICONSULT
  • Geotechnical Studies: GEOLIA
  • Opc Coordinator: MEL
  • Surface area: 7116 m²
  • Net floor area: 4,620 m²
  • Footprint: 2,713 sqm

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

The school complex is organized around two courtyards that offer children different outdoor areas. The yard of the kindergarten was designed as a square, the courtyard of the elementary school as a trapeze. In the south, the campus has been completed by the gym. To the east is the ‘Centre de Loisirs’, a day home for in France generally established full-day school. The day home also is open to the residents of the neighborhood Province de France, and acts with its library and documentation center as ‘house of the neighborhood’.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

The main entrance of the school is located in the north under the overhanging volume of the library. Visible from the rue de Savoye, it offers a generous covered forecourt for parents and children. Under this covered forecourt there are also bike racks.

The location of the lodge allows the control of visitors and students. The young children have a direct access from the covered outdoor area to the hall of the kindergarten.
The entrance of the elementary school is situated on the west and can be reached from the forecourt via a covered walkway along the building.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

The building

The entire school building is surrounded by a corridor. This bright corridor with windows in different sizes, gives direct access to the classrooms and facilities. The corridor also provides an effective noise control for the exclusively to the courtyard orientated classrooms. All classrooms are extremely quiet and sunny thanks to their orientation.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

The kindergarten

The kindergarten with its five classes is arranged on two floors and accessed via the entrance hall.
The common facilities for the day home, kindergarten and elementary school as computer science room, library, exercise room, music room and language laboratory can be reached by the pupils of each institution in a separated, short and clear way. The teachers already have confirmed that orientation in the building is extremely easy for the children.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

The Elementary school

The school has 9 classes overall. 2 classrooms are situated on the ground floor, seven classrooms on the first floor. 3 classes are provided with a spacious terrace. The canteen with attached self-service is used by the kindergarten and the elementary school and located between the two courts.


Throughout the school linoleum floors were laid. The classrooms vary in color from the common areas.
Each classroom has been equipped with acoustic panels and a wall filling board made of perforated aluminum with built-in absorbent material.
The school supplies are placed in a special built wooden closet in the classes.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac


The corridors in front of the classrooms were equipped with a continuous wooden bench seat with integrated shoe rack as well as coat hooks.


The gym closes at the school complex in the south. Transparent polycarbonate panels ensure a covered access to the gym from the school and the kindergarten.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac


The facades are made of untreated pine slats. Through their cut and individually mounted alternated with glass surfaces, they produce the vibration of the facade.
In order to avoid a direct view from the opposite residential buildings, the facade of the day school has been intensified and conducted over the windows.
Along with the green roofs they form a unity and a strong contrast to the environment

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

Home of the caretaker

The 3 bedroom apartment of the caretaker is located on the 3rd floor and allows from the terrace the overlooking of the school grounds and a view to the Grande Arche at La Défense.


12 parking, available for the teachers and with a direct access to the building are situated  at -1.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

Dietmar Feichtinger

The Simone de Beauvoir footbridge was designed by Dietmar Feichtinger.We talk with an architect who is as attentive to the natural as he is to the urban environment.

He designed the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge, won the European competition for the Mont Saint Michel pedestrian causeway bridge and was responsible for the footbridges at La Défense and over the Rhine, but Dietmar Feichtinger does not consider himself a bridge specialist. “I don’t like the term specialist. Our work covers a hospital, universities, office buildings, toll plazas and cinemas as well as bridges.” He does not prefer horizontal to vertical lines and adds that he is careful never to repeat himself. “I don’t to get into the habit of designing only office buildings, only bridges or anything else. Habit kills creativity.” Every location calls for its own project. Treating every projectas a new one fitting into a specific location is a good way of avoiding routine. This involves seeking a new solution every time, endeavoring to be highly modern, highly contemporary and above all avoiding stylistic precepts.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

Every location, every natural landscape, every urban setting requires its own response. This can mean attracting attention, like the Simone de Beauvoir Footbridge, or blending into the landscape like he causeway bridge at the Mont Saint Michel Bay. The design of his bridges thus varies considerably. But relationships and analogies can be found with other–at firsglance quite different–structures. The causeway bridge, for example, bears a resemblance to the Klagenfurth hospital, of which a scalemodel takes up half the office where we are talking with Dietmar Feichtinger. “In both projects, the direct connection tonature was important to us.”

All-revealing architecture

Everywhere – if it’s in Paris or the Mont Saint Michel Bay – Dietmar Feichtinger focuses primarily on fitting his projects into their setting. This, he strongly believes, is the fundamental of architecture, a guiding principle rather than an obstacle, and he pays close attention to the structure of his work.“The bones of the building, that is what every architect should be interested in.” His bridges are, in that sense, a stylistic exercise: “This is all-revealing architecture, you can conceal nothing. It is the basic. principles that make the project.”

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac

Brief biography

Dietmar Feichtinger a native of Austria, studied architecture at the Technical University of Graz. He moved to Paris in 1989 and established Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes in 1993. With a thirty of employees between Paris and Vienna the team operates mainly in Europe. DFA has built a strong reputation for its inventive structures and its investigative approach to design. Its work links both architecture and engineering whilst exploring the dynamic between these two disciplines. In a constant strive DFA is looking for integration environmental and sustainable development, in a elegant and sensitive architecture, respectful of nature and humans. Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes is internationally honored with architecture awards and publications for excellence in design and their built projects.

Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac


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