Paris studio Du Besset-Lyon has converted and extended a 1930s sanatorium to generate a new school of architecture in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand (+ slideshow).

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

Situated on the border among a residential neighbourhood and a huge spot of parkland, the building was initially a healthcare facility for treating lengthy-term illnesses. Treatments targeted on exposing patients to plenty of sunshine and fresh air.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

Getting slowly fallen into a state of disrepair, the building was designated for renovation as it was protected by heritage standing.

France’s Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, which operates twenty architecture schools about the country, invited Du Besset-Lyon to repurpose and expand the current framework for its new occupants.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

The narrow south-facing developing that previously housed the sanatorium was retained and its inner masonry framework was bolstered with a steel frame to make sure it complies with contemporary seismic rules.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

On the building’s north side, the architects added a bulkier extension that contains auditoriums, exhibition spaces, a library and a cafeteria.


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The addition continues the easy visual language of the authentic building and aims to retain its connection with the surrounding landscape – each qualities that the architects regarded as a optimistic instance for the students.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

Nonetheless, even though the sanatorium isolated patients and presented optimum publicity to the southern sun, the extension offers lots of options for interaction and controls the volume of light reaching the interior.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

“The sanatorium took benefit of the south orientation and separated the occupants by gender and wealth,” architect Dominique Lyon advised Dezeen. “The new construction hosts younger men and women complete of power who are hypnotised by screens. They need to have to mingle and keep out of the sun.”

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

The addition consists of the principal entrance, over which the architects put in large mirrored panels that perform as a heliotrope to amplify light and views.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

“Symbolically the sufferers entered from the north to be directed towards the sun, hoping to be cured,” Lyon explained. “Because this constructing has radically transformed its functions, we desired the sun to illuminate the north facade the place the students enter.”

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

The building’s southern elevation has been adapted so that, rather of rows of patient rooms, it now is made up of circulation places that supply an insulating barrier to safeguard the rest of the interior from overheating.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

“The south facade of the college is transformed into a promenade that offers views on the panorama and states the territorial stature of the constructing,” Lyon added. “This a hundred-metre circulation constitutes a buffer zone for the studios that encounter north.”

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

The school’s major social spaces are accommodated on the ground floor, where a massive foyer is flanked by a multipurpose hall on one side and the library on the other.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

A quick set of methods leads to a landing from which a curving steel staircase ascends to the levels above.

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes

The landing accommodates a cafeteria area positioned in front of glazed doors that open onto a bridge connecting the college developing with the surrounding parkland.

Photography is by Axel Dahl.


Venture credits:

Client: Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Structural engineers: KHEPHREN Ingénierie
HVAC engineering: ESPACE TEMPS
Economist: JC DRAUART
Acoustic skilled: JP LAMOUREUX
Infrastructure engineers: ATPI INFRA
Fire security professional: CASSO &amp ASSOCIES

Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistesSite prepare – click for greater image Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistesGround floor prepare – click for greater picture Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistesFirst floor strategy – click for bigger picture Clermont Ferrand School of Architecture by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes2nd floor plan – click for greater image


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