This site serves as an apprenticeship college for 600 students that covers service trades including catering, floristry and hairdressing. It is the relocation of the apprenticeship college which had previously been present in a somewhat dilapidated building in the centre of a town. This new campus is a far greener environment for students and is hopefully a vision for the future.
The Mont-de-Marsan Education Centre designed by Marjan Hessamfar and Joe Vérons Architechtes Associés is a great example of large-scale environmental architecture, with the exterior clad in locally sourced timber. Partially submerging the buildings volumes in the artificial hill also provides thermal insulation to the college with many of the corridors being completely underground. This incorporation of living green roofs minimises the buildings footprint in this forest setting.
Our intention was to drag the building under a green coat to encourage a perfect fusion between the construction and the natureJoe Vérons
Mont-de-Marsan does (more than a little bit) resemble the Musee Soulages by RCR Arquitectes, with its heavily landscaped green site, and its rectilinear volumes with red-brown exteriors. However its worth bearing in mind the Musee Soulages was finished in a corten steel material while timber cladding covers these structures. These kind of overlaps in architectural style become inevitable over time as our expectations of sustainability in public buildings evolve, and the resemblance between the two projects is largely superficial.
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