The ‘Ecole Schouweiler’ project lies on a plateau between the church, the scout hall (‘Scoutenhome’) and the current primary school. Contrary to what its name might suggest, it is a steadily sloping site, exhibiting a height difference of approximately 13m from its northeast boundary, marked by a tennis complex, down to its southwest boundary along ‘Rue de l ́Eglise’. Perpendicular to this slope, the site also features a rise measuring up to 3m.
The initial thought underlying this project is to create a new school campus that fulfils several functions, incorporating a day care centre (‘précoce‘), a kingergarten (‘préscolaire’), a primary school (‘école primaire’) and an after-school care centre (‘maison relais’). Future developments or new constructions to replace obsolete structures are already being taken into consideration and will naturally find their place within the ensemble.
Since the school’s current traffic connections, in particular for private transport, are not successful, the entire campus will be newly accessed in future. The new access road will be solely via ‘Rue d’Eglise’. ‘Rue Tajel’ will be raised and extended according to requirements. It is from here that the future parking site featuring a ‘Kiss & Go’ zone will be accessed as well as the bus platform located parallel to the road. Private and bus transport will be channelled via ‘Rue Tajel’ past the scout hall and via the new residential area (‘lotissement’) onto ‘Route de Longwy’ (N5). This means the children get to enjoy a school route that has no crossings and is consequently safe. The new school building takes its bearings from ‘Rue Tajel’ and in its floor structure follows the natural landscape of the site. The north of the building marks the entrance for the primary school (‘école primaire’), while the south features that of the day care centre (‘précoce’).
Primary school (école primaire) and day care centre (précoce).
Coming from the bus platform and crossing over a generous forecourt, the building is accessed roughly in its centre through a generous foyer. This room is where school activities can take place during class time or where children can play or else indulge in other activities. The foyer is thus a room that is used all day round and, as a result of its double-storey design and the amount of natural light it gets, it is very suitable for the presentation of projects, theatre performances and any other presentation of the school. Generally it can be said that with the conception of this building, the main focus is on its functionality. The key pedagogical approach is reflected in the division of the age groups into four cycles. The basement with its own ground-level entrance and exit houses cycle 1, the day care centre (‘précoce’). It forms the first building block of the new kindergarten (‘préscolaire’) and has a capacity for 40 children. South of the foyer is the teachers’ room and behind this lie the classrooms of the second cycle. Then, to the north – past the centrally located toilet facilities – is the third cycle, while the first floor houses the fourth cycle. Each cycle, upon request of the municipal council, consists of six classrooms with intermediary rooms (‘salle d‘appui’), and a reserve classroom. These primary education features are complemented by a generous library on the upper floor, while the basement houses several workshops that can be used for various different purposes. The primary school (‘école primaire’) thus has room for about 360 pupils (excluding the reserve classrooms).
According to the requirements of a sustainable overall concept and in order to achieve the ‘low energy building’ target, the buildings are clad with a back-ventilated high-pressure laminates (HPL). The corridors, toilet areas and workshops have colour screed floors featuring a ground terrazzo look, known for their high durability and easy cleaning. The classrooms have natural rubber colour floors. The entire building has an acoustically effective suspended ceiling, to avoid any possible disturbances and to create a pleasant learning environment. The fixed furniture is made of wood and also adds to the pleasant sense of space. Thanks to the generous window surfaces in the classrooms, external sun protection is foreseen in the form of aluminium blinds for glare protection. In some rooms, a curtain can be used, providing efficient blackout for slide shows, for instance.