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In the suburbs of Tours, in the late 80s, a large concrete vessel dedicated to teaching was constructed, the Jacques de Vaucanson High School. It affirms an orthogonal composition of geometric shape, relayed by a work of genius on the cuts, displaying an absolute belief in the architecture. But this act of bravery has been overtaken by time. The areas of activity have eroded the surrounding land, low maintenance budgets have prematurely aged it, thermal standards have changed, and the number of students will increase: it must be restructured.
The strategy followed was that of the dentist involved in a difficult area: two fillings and a "bridge". The initial ground plan managed the hollowed out teeth carefully, insulating the functions, now filled by the teachers’ dining room and auditorium. These extensions are topped with a glass fence, protecting a suspended garden, benefiting the documentation centre on the first floor of the existing building. Spanning the courtyard, an inhabited bridge 60 metres long connects the day school to the boarding school. It offers a covered ground floor connection, housing classrooms upstairs.
The extensions support the idea of an architectural palimpsest. They seek to preserve the identity of the existing building by asserting their differences. They are dark canopies of steel in contrast with the white minerality of the existing school. They express a contemporary idea of the technique, which is no longer the expression of the powers and of the structure, but rather that of miniaturization to benefit the users. 


Client: Centre Regional Council
 
Location: Tours (37) - France
 
Budget: € 5,230,000 excluding all tax
 
Net floor area: 1 200 sqm new construction - 1 950 sqm restructuring
 
Team:
Architects agent > CFA
Project Manager > Floriane Bataillard
Mission> base and partial exe
Engineering firms > Structure: BATISERF - Fluids and HQE: INEX - Economist: Bureau Michel Forgue - kitchen designer: Arwytec - Acoustic: Jean-Paul Lamoureux
 
Beginning of studies: winning competition project, 2007
 
Delivery date: September 2012
 
Programme:
Restructuring of general education classrooms and technology.
Extension of the internship and classrooms.
 
Sustainable development:
HEQ program
- Selection of construction procedures and products: use of certified material - steel structure
- Construction site with minimal environmental nuisances on occupied site
- Economic energy management: Cref -13% - RT 2005 – Additional external insulation
- Water management: Green roof
- Acoustic comfort
- Visual comfort



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