Designed by Editorial, Highschool Paul Valery is located in Menton, France. N+B Architectes were tasked with creating a flexible and sustainable solution for a school struggling in the sweltering Côtes d’Azur climate in France. The solution, which added a further 2,800 sq m space quadrupling the size, has turned Highschool Paul Valery into a cool and charismatic building more suitable to a comfortable educational environment, and as a stylish landmark for the town of Menton.
N+B’s approach was site specific. Based on a slope, the old building had varying levels which made it awkward to navigate. The new additional building and re-dimensioning has evened out the variation allowing a free-flowing transition between the old and new and better circulation.
The site also suffered from the glaring sun which made cooling of the old building very difficult and expensive. The addition of Canadian red cedar wooden louvres therefore benefits the school two fold – both as an attractive detailing adding an identity for the school, and as an effective and sustainable cooling solution which allows cross ventilation and solar shielding. Sustainability was a key objective in the project which also sees green roofs for natural insulation, an adapted orientation for the building and cool shaded spaces between each building which works to both cool the building and offer protection from the elements to students.