14.04.2015 Julia Liese

Pleated curtain: Addition to a day-care centre in Paris

Photograph: Julien Attard

Like a wafting curtain, the textile-based outer façade of an addition built onto a Paris day-care centre seems to float in the breeze. This building, set among a heterogeneous neighbourhood, has taken on an unmistakable character that sets an eye-catching accent. Architect: h2o architectes, Paris
Location: 5 rue de l`Épée, 75005 Paris, France
The Epée de Bois day care in southwest Paris is located on the lower levels of an apartment house and has recently been renovated in order to improve its poor former condition. At the same time, the centre expanded with an addition that significantly enlarges the space for the 24 children and creates a new entryway in the narrow inner courtyard. 
The addition has not only created new interior space, but also a generous rooftop terrace which serves as an outside play area. While the ground floor is devoted to children up to the age of 18 months, the areas for children from 18 months to 3 years old is found on the upper level. Moreover, the ground floor features spaces for the kitchen and utility room.
The trademark of this design is the translucent white fabric that has been stretched over a steel supporting structure and surrounds the glass façade in the upper area. This fan-like construction elegantly covers the attic and shields the rooftop terrace from observation. Like a curtain wafting in the wind, the textile cover extends to both entrances and creates a sheltering canopy. With this clever design, the architects have combined aesthetics with function in a most attractive way.
Project data

Client: Municipality of Paris
Team: h2o, Paris, Charlotte Hubert, Jean-Jacques Hubert, Antonie Santiard
Structural engineering: ID+
Costs: Euro 1.5 million
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