School Complex Condorcet Roussillon
Friendly and colourful: a school complex in Limoges, France, that could not be more welcoming
Frédérique Serinet belongs to the city’s Construction & Urban Planning Department. As the architect in charge of the project, she explains: “On-site building activities began back in 2009. They consisted in renovating the existing structures, while adding at the same time an extension. The latter would be connected with the other buildings and complement them harmoniously. The project also included an overhaul of the interior design as well as some improvements of the exterior spaces”.
Condorcet Roussillon combines a preschool with 10 classrooms and an elementary school with 18 classrooms. Accordingly, several hundred children attend school at the complex, and the number of teachers is commensurate to the school’s relatively large size. As the architect who directly supervised the second phase of the project, Frédérique Serinet points out: “Considering the scope of the project, activities on the building site could not be restricted to school holidays. We had to keep working throughout the school year, which was challenging at times. This was for example the case when we completely remodeled the preschool building, which was turned into the new school canteen”.
“We therefore had to pay close attention to the noise levels, while remaining focussed on our objective: to complete the renovation and the extension of the buildings to the best possible standard and create a sustainable, practical and architecturally coherent school complex”.
A BRAND-NEW LOOK AND FEEL
The Trespa® Meteon® cladding panels have been, for many years, the solution of choice for high-end façade projects. With a huge range of colours and finishes, the panels are ideally suited whenever the emphasis is on original, durable and contemporary architectural concepts – and indeed, school projects can strongly benefit from the panels’ outstanding visual appeal and technical advantages.
Raphaël Hennion, the area sales manager in charge of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region at Trespa, comments: “This particular building project, with its five separate phases, was fairly unusual. In addition, the city of Limoges had specified façades that would be long-lasting, made from high-quality materials, and easy to maintain”.
“Based on these requirements, our Trespa® Meteon® cladding panels ticked all the boxes”, he adds. ”We therefore succeeded in convincing the city and the architect that our HPL cladding (High Pressure Laminate), was the best possible option for the new extension of the preschool, which includes six classrooms”.
Frédérique Serinet confirms: “The Trespa® Meteon® cladding system is a high-grade solution. The product is durable, and it retains its visual appeal over a very long period. In addition, it combines two advantages of particular significance for a school: the material is highly impact-resistant and its maintenance requirements are minimal. As a creative person, I also appreciate the panels’ direct contribution to the dynamics of the architectural idea”.
Norbert Duroux is the managing director of Étanche 2000, the company which installed the Meteon® cladding. He confirms: “Trespa® Meteon® cladding panels combine a series of obvious advantages: the quality is outstanding, the installation is easy, and the cladding is very tough and hard-wearing”.
COLOURFUL FAÇADES CONVEY A JOYOUS MOOD
The cladding of the school complex Condorcet Roussillon combines smooth panels in solid colours. Frédérique Serinet explains: “We have used the Trespa® Meteon® cladding panels on vertical and horizontal façade elements. This has helped us create a regular, harmonious pattern that unifies the buildings. To this end, we have used 1,200m² of Trespa® Meteon® cladding panels”. Norbert Duroux adds: “Thanks to the variety of sizes the cladding comes in, we could minimise waste when cutting the cladding panels to size. This allowed us to work very efficiently and keep the costs down”.
Frédérique Serinet comments upon her approach of the project: “When I’m working on a school, I prioritise natural light. Accordingly, all classrooms and hallways have large windows. For the door and window frames, I have chosen coated aluminium in a light shade of grey. We have redesigned the outer spaces as well: the school courtyard has been reconfigured and several playgrounds have been added”. The satinated Trespa® Meteon® cladding panels of the Uni Satin collection come in a highly versatile variety of shades, contrasts and colour depths. “For the client, it is essential to know that the panels will still look pristine after many years”, comments Raphaël Hennion. ”And this is indeed the case for all colours, regardless of external factors. Durability, in fact, is a core quality of Trespa solutions”.
The façades of the school rely upon the interactions between three colours – red, yellow and grey – to create a striking visual impact. The colour scheme is playful, vivid and inviting. With their façades in bold, contrasting colours, the buildings stand out against the background of their predominantly green surroundings.
WELL-BEING AND SUSTAINABILITY
At the beginning of the academic year, the mayor of Limoges, Émile Roger Lombertie, granted an interview to ‘7ALimoges’, a local TV channel. He was straightforward: “Our goal is to provide the teachers with adequate, comfortable premises”. At the same time, lowering the environmental impact is a top priority. He adds: “Our schools have to achieve energetic autonomy. This includes generating their own power”. The city is actually concentrating on three goals: the well-being of the teachers, the sustainability of the education system, and, in direct relation, the reduction of energy consumption.
The project’s final phase – the remodel and extension of the building for the higher grades of the elementary school – is now underway. Here, unlike all other buildings, which feature internal thermal insulation, external thermal insulation will be installed in conjunction with a Trespa® Meteon® ventilated façade. This option offers many advantages: the air circulation efficiently evacuates moisture and the temperature increase inside the building remains minimal even in summer – a significant contribution to year-round comfort.
In addition, the combination of a ventilated façade with a highly effective external insulation markedly improves the building’s energy performance.
Accordingly, Mayor Lombertie’s expectations have definitely been met: from now on, the teachers and pupils at Condorcet Roussillon will enjoy a school complex that is meeting the highest comfort and efficiency standards.