Agrandissement École primaire Montmartre
By : TLA Architectes
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 15e édition
Discipline : Interior Design
Categories : Education, Institution & Healthcare / Elementary School & Kindergarten : Silver Certification
Without a doubt, Montmartre Elementary School in Pointe-aux-Trembles was in great need of renewal. Through the design of learning, socialization and knowledge sharing amenities between students and teaching staff, an interior design concept centered around well-being of users quickly emerged.
A new contemporary and uncluttered volume in perfect harmony with the existing building allowed for the insertion of many new knowledge sharing rooms such as a library, 3 pre-school classrooms, 2 daycare classrooms, a double gymnasium, a community kitchen, as well as various socialization and relaxation areas. The renovation of the existing building allowed for the transformation of a palestra into 3 kindergartens and 3 multi-purpose rooms. As for the former library, it was transformed into a break room for teachers and staff members.
The concept favors a constant dialogue between users and the outside environment. The project is inspired by the warm and motivating Scandinavian schools. First off, natural light generously bathes the vast living spaces. On the second-floor community room, movable glass partitions allow the space to be modulated to meet the various educational and gathering needs. These folding glass walls allow natural light to filter in from the room while cutting off the occupants from the noise of the adjacent circulation axis. This intervention by our designers adds flexibility to both social and learning spaces.
In a school interior design context, we believe that this flexibility is essential since each student is unique and learns differently. This mentality led us to reinvent the concept of the classroom so that it could correspond more to the specific learning styles of each child. Thus, pre-school classrooms were equipped with relaxation areas called "refuges". To reach the refuge, young students must climb a wooden staircase to finally land in a small but comfortable darker space. To some, the concept will be reminiscent of the tree house. For others, it will bring back memories of building a secret hideout with the living room’s sofa cushions. In the end, creative spaces like these bring back memories of our youth and can be used as relaxation areas as well as quiet spaces for children with concentration difficulties.
The renewable natural resource that is wood is omnipresent in the project and can be seen on walls and ceilings throughout the extension. It is also found in the form of cabinetry and woodworking elements such as shelves, storage cabinets and benches. With such an extensive use, wood finally claims its rightful place as a structural and ornamental element prized in sustainable architecture.
Obviously, wood and natural light are the main attractions of the project’s interior design concept. To let the purity and simplicity of these elements speak for themselves, the team opted for great sobriety and a limited color palette. Several orange-colored accents can be found throughout the project, and specifically in the community kitchen that represents the central hub of the expansion. This space acts as a place of learning and sharing where students can cook the food they have previously grown on the rooftop terrace dedicated to urban agriculture. Like the positivism and passion that animates TLA Architectes when interior design deals with youth and education, the orange color is dynamic, warm and leads to communication.