Graeme Mann & Patricia Capua Mann
Kollegium der Tuillières
best architects 09
Gland | Schweiz
During the 1960s, the planning of four developments in the periphery of the town of Gland was to respond to significant population growth. However, only one of these developments known as “Cité Ouest” and composed of two high-rise towers and slab blocks has been completed. The new “Collège des Tuillières” is an integral part of this urban environment. In order to pursue the concept of large structures above public space, all of the project’s elements have been combined in one and the same volume. The transparency of the semi-underground sports halls allows to preserve a strong visual link between the street and the schoolyard in the park. The classrooms are located on the three upper levels around a large central hall which regularly extends to the façade. Through the use of cascading voids designed to constitute the visual link between the floors and a multitude of natural light sources, this hall proves to be a coherent design component which unites. The wide spans which define the static of the sports halls are the result of a set of concrete shear walls on the classroom floors. The layout of these shear walls, parallel to the large sides of the volume whose two façades are also supporting structures, makes up the primary structure of the building. According to the same static system, the three upper levels form a cantilever nine meters deep, which protects a portion of the schoolyard from inclement weather and marks the entrance to the building. The use of clinker brick to build the façades reinforces the particular nature of the new school complex while integrating it in the volumetry of the surrounding neighborhood. The monolithic look of the exterior contrasts with the atmosphere inside marked by the lightness and fluidity of space.