Seeing this building recalled the work of the celebrated artist and sculpture David Mach. But surprisingly when I learned it was a nursery school in Boulogne-Billancourt, beautifully designed by Hondelatte Laporte Architectes, my immediate enthusiasm transformed into a more contemplative mood. Read more
Photos: Guillaume Clement / Atelier Dreyssé.
In a dense residential district of Drancy in north east Paris there was a need for a sports hall, dance studio and community hall with ancillary facilities for school and community use. The facilities would be shared by several local schools but the sports hall had to be optimised for regional basketball competitions.
75 % of the building sits on the site boundary which is overlooked by residential gardens. This meant that there was limited opportunity for façade openings and yet, as much daylight as possible was required to enter the spaces. The result, designed by Atelier d’Architecture Alexandre Dreyssé, was an inward-looking building that is also something of an essay in the use of wood. Read more
Photos: Julian Lanoo.
I am not sure I have come across an archetype quite like this before. I think the building is a driving test and administration centre, but some of the functions seem to be about more general road safety education and test driving. It could just be that it is normal to mix these in Gennevilliers, France where the building is located. In my experience driving test and education centres are seldom purpose built, so when they are, what sort of architectural expression might be appropriate?
One key to understanding this might well be to remember how nervous you were when sitting for your driving test. It seems that the architect A+Samueldelmas remembered the experience and used it for their inspiration. Read more
Images: Flour Architects
A wonderful thing about talking with young children is their ability to mix-up pictures, words and meaning to conjure up new ideas that adults could seldom conceive. A sparkling child helping to bake once explained to me how she was; ‘making a beautiful watch to tell the time with plenty of butter and lots of cheese’. It tasted good when baked, but it did not tell the time as accurately as she had hoped! So what does society do to children that often causes them to loose this creativity in adulthood? As a metaphor for the process of education, this crèche might suggest a penetrating insight. Read more