School centre Leudelange (LUX)

Category :

Architecture competitions

Project :

School centre Leudelange with kindergarten, preschool, basic school (11 classes), nursery

Client :

Administration Communale Leudelange

Country :

Luxemburg

Area :

gfa 2.485 m²

Start of planning :

03/2008

Assignment :

Complete architecture services

Interior design

Award :

1st prize


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project School centre Leudelange with kindergarten, preschool, basic school (11 classes), nursery client Community of Leudelange (LUX) complete architecture services WW+, Esch-sur-Alzette/Trier (LUX/GER), team 31, Luxembourg (LUX) landscaping terra nova, München (GER) 1 Phase - gfa 2,244 m² gv 10,113 m³ 2 Phase - gfa 1,814 m² gv 8,435 m³ net construction costs 8,966,723 total gross costs 13,253,163 planning phase 03/2015 – expected 01/2018 (LP 1-5) realisation expected 04/2017 – expected 03/2020 (LP 6-9) competition 2-stage realization competition 1st prize + commission (for complete architecture phases)

 

Project evaluation

Following the competition win in 2008, the next course of action - on request of the municipality of Leudelange and in cooperation with the ministry – is the creation of an “integrated model” school project. This involves the shared use of a building complex that fulfils the functions both of “lesson teaching” and “after-school supervision” and the synergy effects this will generate. To respond to this challenge, workshops were conducted with the users (teachers and child-care providers) as well as municipal representatives. These workshops identified and discussed the requirements and issues associated with this innovative constellation. The result is a room schedule with corresponding space allocation. A steering committee made up of workshop participants was furthermore established and supported by the planning team throughout the entire planning phase. For all the parties involved, the integrative planning process is thus given centre stage. This contributes to the new school complex being designed with its future users, i.e. children, in mind.

 

Urban planning concept

In addition to the development extending linearly into the landscape, two eye-catching features characterise the townscape of Leudelange: on the one hand, the protracted road space of Rue Eich with its church, town hall, school and restaurants (the town’s social and functional as well as architectonic centre) and on the other hand the mostly agricultural land, strongly intertwined with the locality. The relatively elongated construction block extends Along Rue du Lavoir, shielding it from the traffic. The head building is deliberately recessed from the street front and reveals a view of the church, thereby granting the necessary structural clearance. Both structures form a spatial completion to the streetscape and in doing so create a fully enclosed school courtyard. A glass connecting structure provides views through to the school courtyard thanks to its transparency.

 

Design idea/ materials

The glass connecting structure also serves as the entrance area as well as an indoor playground, allowing children to play on a slide or a climbing wall in inclement weather. Retreat zones in colourful alcoves incorporated into child-friendly built-in furniture provide peace and space for individual activities. There is also sufficient cloakroom space for changing shoes and clothing, an indispensable feature of the “mudroom”. The glass structure is flooded with daylight, providing uninterrupted views, both in and out. In addition to housing the children’s canteen and the area for teachers and child-care providers on the ground floor (school courtyard level), the “head building” is home to a media room and three classrooms on the upper floor, as well as a kitchen and auxiliary functions at basement level (Rue du Lavoir street level). The children’s canteen is structurally separated in the midst of the dining area by the educational kitchen, creating separate eating zones according to age groups, without however preventing children from being together. During meal times, the kitchen counters are used to display the buffet, which is freshly cooked in the subjacent production kitchen. Directly opposite, separated by the sanitary facilities, lies the staff area for the teachers and child-care providers. This includes a conference room for all staff members as well as individual work areas with views onto the school courtyard. The school management office is also located here, as well as the maison relais management office, which connects directly to the parents’ area. The classrooms on the upper floor are for children from cycle 2 upwards, to separate them from the younger children from cycle 1. The result is that the noisier rooms are located at courtyard level and the “quieter” rooms – such as the library, the media room and the classrooms – are located on the upper floor.

 

The block along Rue du Lavoir (construction phase 2) houses the basic précoce and préscolaire rooms. The focus here was on the corridor zones being used not just for access but also primarily as play areas. This is reinforced by the area’s generous size as well as the use of daylight via a multitude of roof domes and window surfaces. Large-scale sliding doors and glass cabinets allow for a constant merging of the play and corridor areas with the lesson areas. The garden level houses the workshop areas for crafts and woodwork as well as music and art, in addition to a wet area and a youth room. Fundamentally, the new “integrated model” philosophy consists in all the spaces including the classrooms being available for the after-school supervision service provided by the maison relais. To implement this multifunctional system, a key focus was the use of flexible in-built furniture capable of performing this task. In the choice of materials for the interior spaces, an emphasis was placed on natural sustainable and warm materials, such as oak for the windows, flooring and furniture, the use of natural rubber as well as a child-friendly colour scheme. The façade seamlessly blends in with the heterogeneous surroundings of the town centre and in fact takes more of a back seat thanks to its modestly designed plaster façade. At the same time, it does make an impact through the colour scheme of its window elements and lends a contemporary school character to the building.

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