Leonard De Vinci High School, Montpellier Educational Facility, French Architecture, Design, Images, Architect

Leonard De Vinci High School

Educational Facility, France – design by Hellin-Sebbag

2 Feb 2015

Leonard De Vinci High School in Montpellier

Location: Le Bourget, France

Design: Hellin-Sebbag

An Ethereal , Chislled ARC At The Border Between Two Neighbourhoods

The French Architectural firm Hellin-Sebbag has designed a new main reception building for the Leonard de Vinci high school specialising in building trades. Located in North-West Montpellier, in an urban setting undergoing major transformation, its facade, in the form of an elevated curve, marks the crossroads between the “Paillade” neighbourhood and the new Eco-District of “Pierre Vives” which is developing around the Departmental Archives designed by Zaha Hadid.

A PieceI of the City
This signature building, multi-faceted and composite, heralds a broad building and renovation project that will reshape the entire 4ha-site of this high school built in the 1960s.


Three Distinct Geometric Elements
– The grey monolith, consisting of a compact, three-storey building set up according to the North-South frame of the site.
– The red triangle, a storey-high overhang on pillars, a metallic structure that curves gently to follow the diagonal axis of the street lined with buildings of “Pierres Vives.”
– The Triangular horizontal sun shade, a translucent metallic awning protecting the building and forecourt from the sun. A majestic metallic portico highlights the central axis of the project.



A Shimmering Facade at Once Translucent and Opaque
Facade and veil are of a piece, the one draping the other to form a protective shield. This filter against the sun, prying eyes and harsh elements is a metallic mesh that unfolds gracefully and shimmers differently depending on the season, time of day and position on the curve, in a clever game of hide-and-seek with the red cladding beneath.



The entry hall, exhibition space and multipurpose room with windows onto the landscaped forecourt, as well as the study hall and school supervisor facilities overlooking the courtyard, are on the ground floor. On the first floor, administrative offices and teachers’ rooms are arranged around a triangular patio with a light well, offering a private terrace reserved for staff. Classrooms are on the second floor.



A City Within a City
The second construction phase involves redesigning the Western half of the high school with new buildings – Centre for Documentation and Information, residence facilities, teaching locales, sports facilities – arranged around a leafy courtyard which acts as a sort of town square for this “city within a city.” With this main reception building, the architects have breathed new life into the vocational Leonard de Vinci lycee in its new urban context.


Leonard De Vinci High School in Montpellier images / information from Hellin-Sebbag

edited by kcontents

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