Located between Parc Marianne, Odysseum and Parc Charpak, the project is being developed in the heart of an urban environment in the process of being developed, including large planted areas, some of which are remarkable and should be preserved.

Project Name: Port Marianne Secondary School
Studio Name: A+Architecture
Location: Montpellier (Hérault)
Project owner: Hérault Departmental Council
Assistant project owner: EGE Ingénierie
Area: 6,575 m2
Missions: Complete project management + EXE + SYN + BIM + Commissioning
Cost of the works: €18,000,000 (excl. tax)

Port Marianne Secondary School by A+Architecture - Sheet6

To the north, Avenue du Mondial 98, accessible by tramway, serves the main entrance of the school, marked by a generous landscaped square. To the east, the forecourt extends along the whole of Rue de la Cavalade, ensuring urban continuity with the existing buildings and a better connection with Avenue Nina Simone. To the west, Rue du Mas Rouge links the district to Parc Charpak, via a more intimate road, while to the south, a soft leafy connecting path also leads to the Park.

Because of its central geographical location and the strategic issues at stake, the project had to meet several objectives by designing a school that was:

  • urban connecting the city centre to Odysseum by taking an important position on this axis.
  • integrated in its surroundings, with contemporary architecture highlighting the school within the city, as well as the promotion of natural spaces. The project offers breathing space and transparency towards Parc Charpak, and beyond, like a belvedere, towards the landscape axis of Port Marianne and the Jacques Cœur basin.
  • remarkable due to its surface area of green spaces open to users and in the eyes of local residents.
Port Marianne Secondary School by A+Architecture - Sheet7

The project gives pride of place to vegetation with the creation of an educational garden, the planting of 114 trees, tiered planted areas and the presence of large courtyards to accommodate all the pupils in hot periods and during rainy episodes.

  • evolving through the choice of a modular wood construction system, allowing spaces to be enlarged, rearranged or, on the contrary, dismantled and easily transferred to another site if necessary.
  • ethical through the use of local sustainable materials.
Port Marianne Secondary School by A+Architecture - Sheet8

The school has been awarded the Occitanie Sustainable Building Silver and E3C1 labels and is an exemplary environmental building, in particular through the choice of a low-carbon concrete construction system for the base, the extensive use of wood from the Cévennes and Gard regions in the frame and facing of the buildings, and the use of biosourced insulation.

In terms of energy, the school will achieve an ambitious renewable energy rate of 48%.

The bioclimatic approach also includes a real commitment to winter and summer comfort for users. Instead of excessive recourse to air conditioning, passive solutions are favoured. The classrooms, which are interconnected with double orientation, are equipped with appropriate solar protection and an adiabatic air cooling system.

Port Marianne Secondary School by A+Architecture - Sheet9
  • Innovative. In addition to the inherent functionality of the school, designed in BIM Level 2, aiming at optimal fluidity and clear legibility for the benefit of students, teachers and administrative staff, the school stands out through its innovative spaces designed to meet new needs: larger unmarked rooms (from 55 to 60 m²) and an active classroom to develop interactive language teaching.

The teachers’ lounge has also been redesigned to provide greater comfort and flexibility through the flex-office model, integrating in the same place relaxation areas, rest areas, quiet pods, shared work spaces and individual work spaces.

Another major issue, the co-education and harassment aspect of the school was the subject of a targeted scheduling choice, with an approach based on the division of the premises (courtyard, lockers, toilets, unmarked classrooms) according to two age groups (6e/5e [11-13 year olds] and 4e/3e [13-15 year olds]) aimed at calming the atmosphere for the pupils. The common room, as an extension of the courtyard, and the large openings in the toilets also allow for fluid exchanges and facilitate use.


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