Tracks Architects, Paris (FR)

Located in a leafy, pedestrian site in the village of Perthes en Gâtinais, in the regional natural park of the french Gâtinais, the school is organised longitudinally on the edge of an existing promenade. This layout allowed the conservation of a large open green space for the playgrounds. The general massing, on a single level, is conceived as a juxtaposition of vernacular house forms in echo of the morphology of the town centre, which comprises a dense alignment of low-rise houses. These ‘house’ modules, designed at the children’s scale, are dimensioned according to the programme, allowing also generous volumes under the double-pitched roofs. The facade is covered with sloped wood siding, known as  “herringbone cladding,” which follows the 45 ° roof slope line. The principal interior prefabricated structure is in spruce CLT, with glue-laminated douglas-fir elements for the covered yard structure;  the cladding is made of Siberian larch, treated by a pre-ageing saturator specified by the historic monuments authorities. Largely made from biosourced materials, the school is insulated with 90% of wood wool, and agglomerate wood panels.

The use of wood helped achieve energy use goals at 10% lower than requirements, and allowed a rapid (10 months) and nuisance and waste-free construction process.Precise prefabrication allowed invisible lapped assembly of the pitched roof panels, and recessed fasteners for the façade cladding, with careful detailing for weathering. Flooring is in wood, and much of the exterior is finished with wood chips.


Architect: TRACKS Architecture

Wood engineer: JLR BET

Timber Construction: Lifteam

Client: Village of Perthes-en-Gâtinais

Location: Perthes-en-Gâtinais

Conception and realization: 11/2017 – 12/2018

Built area (footprint): 815m2 + 1090m2 (outside)


© Guillaume Amat

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