We use cookies from a third-party service (Google Analytics, AddThis) to collect data and improve your browsing activity. For more information, see our legal notices.
Logo pavillon de l'Arsenal
FAIRE 2020

Holding classes outside (Again)

L’Atelier Senzu

  Project-based research for new school spaces that are adapted to alternative pedagogies

Project-based research for new school spaces that are adapted to alternative pedagogies


“The ‘(re)FAIRE classe en extérieur’ project aims to support an alternative outdoor pedagogy that is beneficial to child development in our times of health crisis. The initiative has two objectives: first, to relieve congestion within schools and ensure higher levels of security from a healthcare standpoint; second, to concurrently offer a new outdoor teaching aid.

Today’s Parisian schools continue to follow Jules Ferry’s 1881 template, which was devised with basic universal primary education in mind. They present the same formal characteristics as in the nineteenth century though teaching methods have significantly evolved. Moreover, from a health perspective, school facilities have a non-expandable surface area and a high number of students, and are therefore not ideal for holding classes in complete safety.

Primary schools have large playgrounds that are virtually unused for much of the day however.There lies considerable potential for renewing the educational system and opening up learning to the outside world.

In this overall context, we want to deploy an outdoor class based on a prophylactic architecture. The diversity of Parisian schoolyards requires imagining not one single universal solution, but three variations. Depending on the number of trees that are present or the size of the courtyard, the outdoor classroom could take the form of a light roof construction, an amphitheatre ground, or even sheltered, modular furniture.”

L’Atelier Senzu, Wandrille Marchais & David Dottelonde, architects

Since 2014, L’Atelier Senzu has proudly engaged in a workshop-based working culture. This is the teaching system which trained its collaborators and the professional system towards which they strive. The workshop is a place for discussion, for highlighting the strengths and skills of each individual while working together on achieving a collective project.

Climate change and the increased scarcity of resources, the financial downturn and the standardization of spaces, the increased requirements of project managers and restrictive regulations: L’Atelier Senzu constantly challenges its way of doing architecture and is on the lookout for alternatives to energy-consuming and polluting materials, both by developing new innovative processes and by reconsidering older techniques.