College Emmanuel de Martonne Extension
For a school for handicapped teenagers, Guinée*Potin Architects and Block Architects designed a rather classy looking extension. The plan consists of an underground, invisible section and a raised volume resting on slender steel columns. The columns continue at two different angles in the façade, creating a dominant diamond pattern. Within that pattern the windows are not recognizable as such because they are subordinated to a grid filled alternately with variously treated and coloured steel sheets, fixed glass and openable windows -all reflective surfaces that make for a varied play of light on the façade but also mean that the experience of indoor/outdoor is confined to the interior. Only there does one become aware of how little glass there is in the façade. The classrooms consequently have additional skylights which serve to reinforce the intimate atmosphere.