A former Renault factory is set to become a "living" school and gymnasium in the northern French city of Boulogne. Chariter Dalix has joined a partnership to transform the former factory space into an undulating and uplifting green building that encourages not only native flora to re-grow, but invites local fauna to pay a visit as well. Best of all: this is a place where children learn. So instead of locking away their imaginations in an awful, sterile environment, these kids will be able to play and study amongst chirping birds and squirming worms.
One of the most beautiful urban redevelopment projects we’ve seen in a long time, the building has a green roof that is allowed to slope down such that it extends to the school’s every level. Indigenous plant species will be re-introduced, which, it is hoped, will also draw in birds, bats and other industrious fauna.
Although the classrooms are inside, great care has been taken to ensure that there is a gentle transition between play and study space. The recreation areas are wrapped in soft edges and the landscaping is both vertical and horizontal. The effect of so much green space is not only the obvious – to create a healthy environment amidst the smog of urban life – but also allows children to experience a real ecosystem, lest they forget what that is.