Architecture competitions, schools, private homes and urban walkways: architect Pierre-Alain Dupraz’s recent projects are featured in an exhibition at La Galerie d'Architecture in Paris casting light on the key theme common to all the projects: relationship with site topography.
One project in particular, Saint-Jean nursery school in Geneva, marks the beginning of Pierre-Alain Dupraz’s focus on this theme, also developed in his other projects. It demonstrates how the work of architecture’s relationship with its site is the ultimate goal of a series of decisions made at all phases and by all the people involved in a project: from the choice of building techniques and materials to the internal layout and the points of view the architect decides to underline.
Saint-Jean nursery school is an underground construction built below a public park, with the exception of the existing office building and cafeteria. This condition required use of concrete as the primary construction material and construction of a gently inclined ramp leading to the school’s inner courtyard: a safe place for children to play outdoors which also provides the classrooms with natural lighting and ventilation. Pierre-Alain Dupraz’s project allows the local inhabitants to enjoy use of a park with pathways and gardens, without any buildings in it, while ensuring that the nursery school is “visually present” even though it is independent of the surrounding neighbourhood.
Exhibition: Pierre-Alain Dupraz La Topographie en Architecture
Dates: April 21 – May 17 2017
Images courtesy of La Galerie d'Architecture Paris photo by: Kuster Frey, Serge Fruhauf, Thomas Jantscher