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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
Nursery and communal premises - Heams & Michel Architects - France
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Nursery and communal premises - Heams & Michel Architects - France

Heams & Michel Architects - France

Gymnastics building France - Heams & Michel Architects - France

Benjamin Michel and Nicolas Heams met at the School of Architecture of Marseille, France. A common architectural approach arose then wherein the genesis of the project is to put in tension three elements: “ the program, the site, the material. Our paths diverged after the graduation. Benjamin practices in different agencies like Architecture-Studio in Paris or CAB Architectes in Nice while Nicolas begins alone. In 2005 the binomial reforms in Nice to collaborate mainly on public procurement. Mediterranean landscape in which we operate is the raw material of our work. It is foremost to develop a simple architectural style and not ostentatious. It is this attitude that allows us to cope with the strength of this landscape. Whatever the complexity or the scale of the project, each time it’s to do with the constraints without lapse into the exceptional.

Project Description

The building includes a family day care of three units with a kitchen and communal facilities. We took advantage of the natural slope of the land to manage the programatic mix on two distinct levels. The communal spaces are distributed from the level of the road and open fully to an outdoor public space. Cantilevered over the ground floor, the volume of the room stands out for its material and its moldings. It contains the program related to early childhood. The building is anchored to the bottom of the slope of the hill. It absorbs some of the slope of the land. It participates in the site design. Its roof planted and cut by three colorful patios becomes a natural extension of the surrounding landscape. Noticeable from the high road, it assumes its role as the fifth facade. Our intention was to provide protective and protected areas for the comfort and safety of children but also for the tranquility of the parents. This research to internalize spaces has led us to propose a spatial device that functions as an enclosure. The general volume is a compact parallelepiped in the thickness of which the introduction of three patios bring light and allows a natural ventilation of the round local devices. Two patios are dedicated to outdoor spaces for children. In this sense, instead of opening up to the landscape like a standard schoolyard, these places open to the living units. The surrounding space is “behind the scenes”. The third patio though two levels to conduct light to the rooms on the ground floor. The color is a structural element of the architectural project, is not there to entertain. Cool colors for communal spaces and warm color palette for local early childhood. In the interiors, the color is guarantor of metamorphosis and atmospheres.
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