This Terraced Green Hill is Really a High School
The lycee Jean Moulin in Revin, France is a high school like no other, under suspended terraces that climb up a hillside and are topped with a series of green roofs.
For many, high school is a turbulent time of shaking up old assumptions and completely rethinking what you have always taken for granted. So a high school building that does the same should be welcome. Why shouldn’t the grass grow above you? Can glass and grass coexist?
The very open public space here in place of the more usual rabbits warren of corridors is a very sensible if radical departure for getting between classes. This is an untrammeled free for all – probably the most efficient way to travel quickly between classrooms.
Paris-based, Off Architecture in association with Duncan Lewis Scape Architecture and Jeans Giacinto utilize the constraints of the slope, so the school is elevated and recedes upwards, creating an undulating pattern of movement up the hill.
Seen from above the new Lycee Jean Moulin school will simply appear as a terraced landscape, practically disappearing into the hillside. All of the grass displaced by the construction reappears on top. Yet interspersed by generous windows, it is never feels like it is underground.
The architects have cleverly inserted the new building into the topography of the landscape – a vast and undulating terrain with many curves.
The new building echoes the terrain as its rippling form follows the protruding and receding nature of the undulating hills.
Because of this close interaction with the hilly site, the students will benefit from the natural qualities of the surrounding environment, creating a dynamic educational facility that mirrors the turbulent shake-up of adolescence and perhaps gives a companionable sense of acknowledgement of its stresses.