This project is located in the centre of Beirut at the level of the
Chayla stadium. The school is symbolic of French education in Lebanon,
comprising a programme that includes all levels of classes, from kindergarten
to primary and secondary levels, including special and scientific classes,
evening courses, a library and student lodgings
The project uses the language of modern architecture. A composition of
several buildings is positioned parallel to the axis of the road. Construction
is on concrete pilotis, and
horizontal windows on the facades of the main buildings contribute to a
rhythmic effect. The architect plays with the different levels in his
composition.The ensemble is brought
together through a circulation system via covered pilotis.
The main building, on three-levels, includes secondary classes on two
floors, “special classes” on a portion of the third level and the lodgings of
the principal. This building is extended by the construction of two levels
including a courtyard, classes for evening courses and common areas. A
pedestrian entrance leads to administration at right and the other classrooms.
A different access is reserved for school-bus drop-off and pick-up.
The school benefits from a large playground that extended to sports
fields destined for basketball, handball and volleyball. The development of
this open space between buildings, planted with huge eucalyptus trees, offers a
sense of vast space. Corridors are used mainly for short breaks.
For pedagogical reasons, Ecochard devotes a specific building for infant
classes, separate because "their needs are different." Constructed as
a bungalow, unlike the rest, it is arranged in the middle of the field parallel
to the other buildings. The third building devoted to primary schools on two
levels reflects the architectural language of the first. The ground floor on pilotis stilts serves as a playground.
And one last building for the kindergarten and children's classes is extended
by a courtyard on the first floor.
This project undertaken in the late 1950s is emblematic of its time; it
borrows the language of “la Cité Radieuse”, evidenced in the discreet use of
colours such as yellow and red.