Nurse and caregiver school, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin


The structure of the school is the result of the superposition of a low-carbon concrete base in the height of the first floor which will form the support of a light decarbonated structure in wood framework of the floors covered with a vertical cladding in larch. The environmental approach is multi-criteria. It determines the functional and material choices, the passive approach and the educational aspect dedicated to children.

By allowing modularity, and therefore mutability, the building increases its life span, its suitability for use, and its long-term usefulness. All the classrooms are largely open to the outside: the majority of them face the project’s outdoor spaces, which have been designed with the utmost care to encourage the development and maintenance of flora and fauna and to provide a natural and lively educational environment. Some classrooms have views of the observation wetland, others have views of the heavily planted educational terrace, and others have views of the elementary and kindergarten playgrounds – both designed as “oasis courtyards” with generous planted areas and significant plant diversity.

In order to create a link between these frames, we chose to create a building with a unitary, legible and simple form. It surrounds a vast patio that develops a peaceful and reassuring interiority, conducive to concentration. The project can be appreciated from all angles.

The framework of the interior structure is expressed in the facade, underlined by wooden posts that mark out the rhythm, transforming it into an architectural style. The facades accompany the volumetric play of the building, a unitary object with a patio and two terraces on the first floor. The dark wood echoes the trees, evoking the same nature.

The organization of the building allows a loop around the patio. It is easy to find one’s way through the fluid interior space and the signage that leads to the different poles and rooms. A single access allows to serve the whole building.

LOCATION : Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France
PROGRAM : Construction of a nurse and caregiver school.
Environnemental label E3C1
SURFACE : 3 178 m²
COST : 9 826 084 Excl. Tax HT
TIMETABLE : Competition prize winner July 2021 – Completion June 2024
CLIENT: Région Normandie
SIGNAGE : Ateliers 59
RENDERINGS : Fred Peronne