Technical School

Nantes, France, 2015

This building is located in the new Bottière-Chênaie section in eastern Nantes. Its trapezoidal shape reflects the planned contours of the neighbourhood.
Exemplary construction techniques make up a sizable portion of the project. As the building is to be used by students of the various building trades, tectonic issues naturally assume major cultural significance.
A long-span (forty meters) wood structure is used, with largely lightened or concealed metal support systems. The impression of floating, unraised structural efforts characterizes the spatiality of the workshop’s broad expanse.
The façades are entirely of wood (Douglas-fir, larch and eucalyptus for the windows). Special attention was paid to the quality of light, resulting in the choice of large polycarbonate and glass openings.
The building occupies two levels:
. On the ground floor, the lobby opens directly onto the large workshop and the teachers’ room.
An outdoor workshop sheltered by a broad awning serves as an extension to the large indoor workshop.
. One flight up, the four classrooms and changing rooms are accessed by a long corridor opening onto the large workshop.
A service courtyard on the north side serves as a delivery area for materials used by students as part of their course work.