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Like an impressionist for the school Simone Veil to Argenteuil (France)

Inaugurated in September 2019, the Simone Veil school complex gives life to a new district in Argenteuil undergoing transition. The architect wanted to send a strong signal by creating a building with audacious architecture inspired by the impressionist artists who had meandered along the Seine banks in the early 20th century.
“Early in the morning when the children arrive at school, they are greeted by these two luminous lanterns with shadow puppets inside,” explains Joël Mischke, architect.

“Early in the morning when the children arrive at school, they are greeted by these two luminous lanterns with shadow puppets inside,” explains Joël Mischke, architect for the city of Argenteuil and designer of the new Simone Veil school complex located in this Val d’Oise town. To obtain this effect, the architect chose to treat the envelope of two recreation rooms situated on the 1st floor with a Danpatherm K7 solution.

Early in the morning or at the end of the day, a soft light is emitted from the two rooms and diffused toward the exterior. Passers-by get a hint of the activities going on inside. A strong signal from the two facades that are located just above the entry court for both the toddler and elementary schools.

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To finalise the aesthetics of this envelope, Joël Mischke was inspired by the pictorial work of the impressionist artists who often painted the Seine banks alongside the city of Argenteuil. “The crisscross wood structure attached to the facades is a reminder of the motif featured in the painting by Claude Monet ‘Train bridge in Argenteuil’ representing the bridge railings,” explains the architect who continues “as for the vegetated panels integrated in the wood framework, these are a homage to the painters who drew their inspiration from observing nature.”

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The work proceeded in several stages. The primary wood structure was covered with Danpatherm K7 in 7.5 metre lengths (colours: Opal exterior / Cristal interior with Softlite finish on the interior surfaces). The carpentry contractor, Poulingue attached the crisscross grid onto this surface and then added the interspersed vegetated panels.

All of this work was done in such a way as to preserve the waterproof barrier for the facade. “This design phase was so important that a full-scale prototype was constructed to ensure the feasibility of the project,” confirms the architect.

Industrial to residential

The school complex, inaugurated in September 2019, is located on an old industrial site and is part of a larger renovation scheme for the region. This is a new neighbourhood that links the Argenteuil city centre and the Seine.

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“For this new, family-oriented city, it is necessary to develop a range of facilities, especially schools,” confirms the architect. To mutualise these different needs, the school complex offers a capacity of 20 classrooms (toddler and elementary) as well as two recreation rooms and a municipal room for local sports and associative activities. And these are open to the public. “The school complex is a strong signal sent to change the image of the neighbourhood,” pursues Joël Mischke. It serves to reinforce the residential vocation of this zone and, little by little, cast aside its industrial character.

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E3C1 Label

With the aim of creating a facility that federates the inhabitants (and the future parents!), the city included it in an ambitious project of sustainable development, certified E3-C1 as per the criteria established by the E+ C- label (positive energy and low carbon footprint).

The entire construction was defined in response to this challenge. Namely, a wood structure was privileged as dry construction (however the basement levels, stair cores, and street-facing facades are in low-carbon concrete), bio-sourced materials were used, and 2300 m2 of vegetated roofs were installed.

As for the choice of Danpatherm K7, it also responds to the challenges of the E+ C- label. “The product has the advantage of combining the insulation and the finished wall in a single material. We sought this economy of materials to achieve our certification goal,” confirms the architect.

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Project identity

Mairie d’Argenteuil
03 45 58 03 30

Mairie d’Argenteuil, M. Joël MISCHKE
01 64 23 41 91


01 46 85 86 87

Facade double peau Danpatherm K7, acoustique renforcée 33dB, trame de 924 mm.
Colours : OPALE Extérieur et CRISTAL Intérieur avec traitement Softlite sur les faces intérieures

Facade Danpalon® BRV 16, trame de 600 mm.
Colour : opale opacifiant blanc, finition HProtect

Danpalon® BRV

Danpatherm K7

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