The 6404 sq metres building surrounded by a woodland, a protected forest with several hundred years old oak trees and tall pine trees. The forest on the hill side behind the school is visible from the front of the building which is split into individual blocks looking as if they are an integrated part of the landscape. This breaks up the overall 128 m profile and creates a fairly low line scaled building.
Entrance to the school is situated beneath the main block. It literally cuts through the hill and is glazed on both sides: from the fields on the front, through the entrance hall, the forest can be seen in the background. This area is full of light and visitors are often surprised about the amount of natural daylight bathing the inside of the building.
All facade walls are metal framed with wood cladding. Behind the cladding, many openings have been cut at random in the walls giving plenty of natural light inside, while exterior cladding provides comfortable shading. During the day, this creates quality atmosphere and at night, attractive light effects.
The architectural choices made resulted in creating an equipment with low impact on the environ-ment. The re-vegetation of the hill sides was continued onto the roof on the west side.
Landscaping of the site has a continuous flowing feel as it incorporates the building into the actual hill side and forest. Flowering meadows were chosen for both the slopes and the roof as they are easy to maintain and fit in well with the local wood.
Regional pine wood from the region (Forêt des Landes) was chosen for the cladding. This has the advantage of shortening the whole production- distribution chain and makes perfect sense from a environmental view point.