Saint André la Castellane School

Offices + Equipment

Saint André la Castellane School

Renovation of Saint André La Castellane school, Marseille

Project managementCity of Marseille
Surface1 500 m²
Cost 17 000 000 €
AgentLéon Grosse
Project managementArchitect: Caractère Spécial
Associate architect: Agwa
Landscape: Sarah Ten Dam
Structure: Lamoureux & Ricciotti Ingénierie
BET TCE / VRD / Économie : BETEM
Acoustics: Gamba
Circular economy: Mineka
HQE / Sustainable development : EODD
Maintenance: SNEF

A school is the first and most important of all public facilities. It's the symbol and landmark of a city, marking the neighborhood and shining throughout the city.

It's a welcoming, warm and reassuring place, a place where we search for our limits and those of others, a place where we discover and experiment. For the child we all remain, it's the place where we learn about ourselves and others, in their singularity. Living together" makes sense here. For the reception team, it's a functional and pleasant place to work, a tool for developing attention for everyone, individually and as a team. It's a place where everything should be simple, yet new and enriching every day. For parents, the school is a place filled with benevolence and trust. But above all, it's a place for daily encounters, for opening up to the neighborhood. It's a catalyst for social ties, and an essential engine of urban life.

The Mediterranean city is open and welcoming, convex rather than concave. Rethinking the Castellane school means rethinking the school's connection to its context, improving the welcome for pupils and teachers, and more broadly for all residents, equipping these transformed premises with new uses to open up the site to all possibilities, for today, but also and above all, for tomorrow!

The school appears in a new light between the apartment buildings. The path through the park leads to the new forecourt: a public space below the school entrance. The forecourt expands, crossing the preserved and enhanced pine forest, to reach the porch, the entrance to the schools.

The main building floats above the pine forest. A large wooden structure, supporting vegetation and perhaps apparatus, protects the school's familiar facade, the filter. A new structure marks a common, welcoming entrance. Above the other wing, a wooden elevation houses all kinds of activities, which can be glimpsed through the window. In the evenings, this new floor shines as a meeting place for local associations. Further east, the new gymnasium also forms a large lantern in the early evening. It overlooks and activates the existing sports field. The natural layout of the programs enables the school to interact with its environment in a variety of ways, and to accommodate the diversity of its users, in all their uniqueness. A school, and more than that, a place to live.