Blaise Pascal Secondary School Gymnasium – Description by Koffi & Diabaté Architectes.
As part of an approach of sustainability, the Blaise Pascal Secondary School Gymnasium (registered under its French name: Gymnase du Lycée Blaise Pascal) in Abidjan raises the standard with a gym in an environment where design methods are too often modeled on those of temperate zones. The building is open, alive and conducive to sporting practices for 1500 Secondary School students, while focusing on certain energy saving practices, through the use of passive solutions.
Playing with the slope of the ground, the gymnasium implants itself in declination of the existing classrooms. Entirely made of raw concrete, the structure of the building displays a contemporary approach with geometric lines.
To soften the materiality of the concrete structure, the visual signature of the building is marked by a sheet metal skin that makes sense in the tropical context at high temperatures and humidity. Transparency is induced by the perforated sheet allowing ventilation and natural lighting into the entire all-sports hall.
A SIMPLE AND READABLE PROGRAM
On the ground floor, the framework entirely made of raw concrete, expresses the support dimension of the programs: the locker rooms, a teacher’s hall, a storage area, as well as a gym. An attentive work focused on the functional aspect, the fluidity of outdoor circulations and maintenance.
Upstairs, the steel structure and its cladding acting as external venetian blinds, host bleachers with a capacity of 200 spectators and opens to a sports platform of 1000 sq. meters offering an exceptional place for various events that animate of the Secondary School. The indoor climbing wall, the first in West Africa, is 36m wide and 9m high. The sports equipment is as discreet as possible and movable for greater flexibility in the use of spaces.
A BIO-CLIMATIC GYMNASIUM
Behind its red membrane, the imposing volume loses its materiality to give way to a feeling of comfort. Bathed in soft natural lighting, the surrounding space imbued with elegance and serenity, is traversed by a breeze that gives a sensation of lightness to the site.
The fully perforated facade thus make it possible to perceive the external grounds that are placed below this crossing perspective.