Nursery School in Marmoutier
This new nursery school In Alsace was built within listed historical walls that once enclosed the gardens of a 5th century monastery. The architects designed a low-rise building with a roof articulated into a number of planes. In this way, they were able to keep the eaves line below the crest of the wall, as required by the authorities, while achieving a greater room height elsewhere. The internal soffit echoes the form of the roof. Not only are the sloping surfaces of advantage acoustically; their complex geometry helps the children to identify with the individual rooms. The large central hall, which provides access to the entire building, lends the nursery a transparent quality. Together with the recreation area three steps lower, the hall provides an indoor play space when the weather is bad. It can also be used for a wide range of events and activities with local residents. All the group rooms are directly linked with the outdoor realm and receive natural light from two sides – thanks partly to two courtyard areas, one of which is occupied by a pool of water. These spaces bring light, air and warmth into the heart of the building and aid cross-ventilation. They are an integral part of the indoor-climate concept. Air is preheated in winter and cooled in summer in an underground duct. The underfloor heating system to which this is linked ensures that the large areas of coloured concrete flooring form a pleasant play area.