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Issue #23

A SCHOOL CLOAKED IN CRAYONS

Public Use

When the Ecole Mistral school in Villiers-sur-Marne – France was redeveloped and renamed the architect wanted to give the façade´s appearance a look that resembles a set of coloured pencils – an effect that he achieved with the use of enamelled ceramic cladding.
ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade detail view
© M. Takuji Shimmura
ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade playground
© M. Takuji Shimmura
ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade front view
© M. Takuji Shimmura
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ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade front view
© M. Takuji Shimmura

A SCHOOL CLOAKED IN CRAYONS

Public Use

When the Ecole Mistral school in Villiers-sur-Marne – France was redeveloped and renamed the architect wanted to give the façade´s appearance a look that resembles a set of coloured pencils – an effect that he achieved with the use of enamelled ceramic cladding.

Located in an area that falls under an urban regeneration programme and which is undergoing major redevelopment, it was hoped that the new school would form a contrast to the harshness of the neighbouring buildings. Architect Laurent Fournet conceived a building that would be suggestive of childhood, awakening and creativity, with multi-coloured façade cladding. The lively façade “stands for opening up to a world of culture”, says its designer. The geometric design of the school flows into a curve and adds an extra sense of vitality to the structure.

ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade front view
© M. Takuji Shimmura

FINDING THE RIGHT TONE
Laurent Fournet did his research to find the right product, and ultimately, it was enamelled ceramic cladding that fulfilled his needs. He liked “the warmth and acidic tone of the enamelled terracotta and the wide range of colours available”. A pallet of samples was prepared for approval by the City Council, and then a frame combining different colours was designed with several levels of bars, each measuring a metre in height.

ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade playground
© M. Takuji Shimmura
ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facadedetail view
© M. Takuji Shimmura

The lively façade represents the idea of opening up to a world of culture.

Agence Laurent Fournet Architecte

ecole mistral school france colourful ceramic facade garden
© M. Takuji Shimmura

DELICATE CONSTRUCTION
A specialist with experience in working with this type of cladding was needed for the job of putting in place the 7,000 pieces of this outstanding façade. The challenge lay in respecting the specific layout of the panels across the whole building, walls and roof. The curved elements were particularly difficult to implement. The shingles were put in place one at a time, while the fixtures were hidden in the shadow of the product. The result was deeply satisfactory and the team particularly appreciated the clarity and durability of the enamelling. A cladding that combines the warmth of terracotta with the lustre of enamel – quality sure to stand the test of time – a place where children can play, learn and enjoy.

ecole mistral school france colourful interior bright yellow
© M. Takuji Shimmura
Facts & Figures
  • Project name
    Ecole Mistral school, Villiers-sur-Marne, France
  • Architect
    Agence Laurent Fournet Architectes
  • Client
    Tassone Bâtiment
  • Used products

    Argeton Barro cladding enamelled

  • Year of completion
    2017
enamelled Argeton Barro

Façade

Argeton Barro enamelled – France