JB Ferrari & Associés

EIG Founex . Geneva


JB Ferrari & Associés . photos: © Duccio Malagamba . © Raphaël Christinat . +

The new primary school has been conceived as an autonomous element, expressed as a compact volume.

















Its orientation seeks to take advantage of sweeping views, from the Jura to the lake. Positioned with respect to the existing topography, the building is organised on 4 levels according to each student age group. The parking and drop off zones take into consideration the natural characteristics of the terrain and landscape. The principal access to the building is made via the external covered area on level 0, on which are found the common functions of the program. The teaching spaces are distributed over the remaining levels, each floor comprising of 9 classrooms. The program is organised around a primary circulation space situated in the atrium adjacent to a central volume containing a theatre and sports hall. External covered areas and recreation spaces are arranged so as to reduce impact to the existing landscape. The projects compact plan makes a significant contribution to respecting the strict criteria imposed by the MINERGIE certification.
The facade is composed of anodized aluminium panels and slats. The “bronze” aluminium tint complements the brown hues of the campus’ existing architecture. The openings are generous to favour solar gain and reduce artificial light consumption. Each window is equipped with external solar protection and allows the user to modulate luminosity.
The expression of the main entrance level contrasts with the upper floors by displaying three colours through the aluminium slats. These colours alternate in a playful way and help to distinguish entrance level from the simple expression of the classroom floors above and below it. These other floors share a similar expression given by alternating perforated panels and generous windows. Internally colours identify each of the three floors of classrooms.
The facade is dynamic ‐ it changes appearance with each step of the viewer providing children with a variable decor for their play. Bright colours pop up and fade away, while the perforated panels appear to vibrate as they gradually unveil their details. The pattern is based on the chestnut leaf, chosen as a reference to the campus’ name.


Client : International School of Geneva Foundation
Program : Education
Construction : 2010‐2011
Cost : CHF 32'000’000.—
Floor Area : 8’810m2
Volume : 36’300m3
Architects : JB Ferrari & Associés
Project team : Sébastien Zwissig
Chantal Billaud
Frédéric Meisser
Sylvie Bussard
Mathieu Schopfer
Bao Phan
Photography : Duccio Malagamba
Raphaël Christinat


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