Graeme Mann & Patricia Capua Mann
Secondary and professional school / theatre
best architects 16
Saint-Maurice / Switzerland
The new school building is located in a strategic setting at the entrance to the city and has the advantage of providing a new urban front to the Avenue des Terreaux. It clearly shows that it belongs to the institutional, educational and sports complex owing to the distance from the street and the fact that the courtyard opens to the south and the nearby Dents-du-Midi mountain range. The building’s U-shape takes all the surrounding school area into account and connects the several playgrounds to open green spaces and sports facilities. The new construction, which is linked to the sports complex, offers wide access to the services installed at the court level, such as the theatre/assembly hall, the covered Place des Fêtes, the double gym and the judo hall. These activities denote the public status of the schoolyard. The upper floors are devoted to classrooms, with a clear division of the two schools, each accessible through a separate entrance. The volume configuration takes full advantage of the different levels and makes the plaza and the courtyard easily accessible from the street, the station, the school area or the car parks. The project adds onto the existing sports complex as well as bringing spatial order to the current area.