Jean Mermoz French school complex at Dakar, Senegal | 2006-10


Winner of the AFEX 2012 Grand prix for French architecture worldwide

program preschool, elementary, middle and high school, and sports facilities
client AEFE, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, Ambassade de France à Dakar, supervising representative
architects and engineers TERRENEUVE architects designee; project architects: Thomas Hus (design and construction phase) and Alice Lévy-Leblond (competition); A. Yedid, associate architect; Architecture et Climat, architect, Design offices all trades and construction economist in Dakar; Alto, D.O. fluids et HQE; Satoba, D.O. structure; Getrap, construction economists; Armelle Claude, landscapers; Monique Rousselot, graphic designer
surface 15 000 m² net area
work costs 14,5 M€ BT 
timeline competition 2006 / 1st prize, delivery in 2010 (first part) and 2011 (second part)
photos © Daniel Rousselot

The program includes new construction on what are presently the sports grounds of an existing school complex. It will regroup the preschool, elementary, middle and high schools for an eventual total of 2,500 students. As the client had a limited budget for the project, 15,7 M€ of works for 17,000 m², and 40,000 m² of grounds works, they sought an architectural approach using construction economics and policies based on sustainable development principles.

This project has a radically contemporary architectural style, and is innovative in its use of passive thermal control. It uses the savoir-faire of local businesses, with great savings on technical resources, limiting the import of manufactured products.
Placing the buildings in closely aligned strips, with the spaces between forming interior islands with trees and shade, optimizes natural cross-ventilation. The type of construction used for each portion incorporates several passive solutions for cooling and protection from the sun - exterior covered walkways, ventilated cavity walls, awnings, and roofing with high thermal inertia. These systems combine to provide comfortable temperatures for most of the school year, and reduce air conditioning use to one or two months per year.