Graeme Mann & Patricia Capua Mann
Multipurpose Sports Hall and Secondary School “Collége du Léman", Apples
best architects 11
Thomas Jantscher | Colombier
The village of Apples is located at the foot of the Jura mountains. To address today’s strong population growth in the region, a dozen municipalities joined forces to build a new school complex. The Collège du Léman, an extension of the Collège du Plateau, is built on a shelf on otherwise sloped terrain overlooking Lake Geneva, faces the existing building and defines an outdoor space used as village square. The new building comprises two parts aligned in the form of an “L”, one to accommodate classrooms, the other a multipurpose hall. Through the shape of its roof, the new building engages a dialogue with the existing building and, through its location at the entrance to the village, maintains a strong link with the site and its environment. The design of the new school complex is marked by the alternating use of lateral façades crowned by high roofs and pitched façades reminiscent of the typical features of large Vaud farmhouses. Designed with copper cladding and wide windows, the extension stands out from the existing building by the abstract use of materials without denying its allegiance to the new complex. Inside, the classrooms and corridors benefit from the spatial potential of the inclining roof as well as from the generous supply of natural daylight further amplified as a result of reflection on the white concrete walls. Like the town council chambers orientated by a large window in the direction of the village, the materials and large-sized openings convey an atmosphere of protection and overture to the outside world.