Rapin Saiz Architectes: Renovation and extension of a socio-educational institution - best architects 21

Rapin Saiz Architectes

Renovation and extension of a socio-educational institution

best architects 21

education buildings


L’Abbaye, Switzerland


Joël Tettamanti


The project presents an extension which, in terms of scale, form and character, maintains the status of the main building in line with the previous communal hostel. Its presence in front of the main façade of the former town hall, in the centre of the village and at the crossroads strengthens the appearance of the central village square. The signpost, the main entrance and the terrace of the institution have stayed in the same position, protected from the wind, facing south and visible to passers-by.
The project proposes a domestic typology, both for the restoration of the existing building and for its extension. On the ground floor, the dining room retains its original location in the hostel, open to the square – a welcoming spot. The collective and private spaces are distributed throughout the building and coexist in relationships regulated by intermediate spaces in the form of halls that allow people to disperse. This organisation avoids corridors and offers a qualitative distribution by means of adjoining living areas. It also provides great flexibility of use, with the hospitable features and areas expected of an apartment: a few rooms around a living space. The extension is built in the traditional manner with a double brick wall at the front and concrete slabs whose formwork bears witness to the ancient wooden ceilings. The building is designed to meet the requirements of the Minergie Eco standard.