Lycée français mission laïque
Beirut, Lebanon

This project is located in the center of Beirut at the level of the Chayla stadium. The school is symbolic of French education in Lebanon, comprising a program 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, Écochard 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.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture



Beirut, Lebanon
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Lay Mission School
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