It is difficult for the visitor to recognize the former Franco-German high school in Buc (Yvelines) after two and a half years of work that resulted in a complete conversion of the building. The seven wide concrete “umbrellas” and the monumental staircase demonstrate the establishment’s aspiration for architectural transformation. The complex was officially opened on Friday, June 24, in the presence of the German ambassador, the rector of the Versailles Academy, the head of the district and department.
After two and a half years of work, the establishment now includes 69 teaching rooms, 12,500 m² of new or remodeled spaces, a gym and a public sports arena. Located in a three-hectare park, the famous establishment suffered from dilapidation, lack of space and unsuitable rooms. A connected multi-purpose room for 300 people and a resource center were also created. Rooms for music, art, computers, and a FabLab have also appeared. The new facilities benefit from high environmental quality standards and the roofs are partially covered with vegetation.
giant construction site
“To carry out the rehabilitation, the school building had to be completely dismantled. The work was carried out without the presence of students relocating to temporary modular buildings on adjacent land,” says Romary Boutot, director of major projects on the Yvelines departmental council. The primary school and gymnasium were demolished and completely rebuilt. The major project was entrusted to the German architectural firm Behnisch Architecten, associated with the Versailles-based firm Atelier 2A+. The study was carried out by the Eiffage company. The total cost of the operation is 56 million euros, with up to 31 million euros financed by the region and up to 25 million euros by the ministry. The European fund Feder is required to participate in the financing, but the case is still under investigation.
The contracting authority for the operation is the Yvelines departmental council. After an agreement signed between the district and the department, the two local authorities actually shared control of the four school plots located in Yvelines: the departmental council is the leader of the international school Saint-Germain-enlaye and Franco. – The Hoche school estates in Versailles and the German high school in Buc, the district of Le Corbusier in Poissy.
. In this monumental and beautiful place, it will be good to teach and be a student
Charline Avenel Rector of the Versailles Academy.
Buç’s new school complex now includes a primary school, a secondary school and a high school. Eventually, and thanks to expansion, it will be able to accommodate 1,200 to 1,300 students (versus 900 previously). “The rehabilitation of the organization represents a real strength increase in terms of space as well as quality. It will be good to teach and be a student in this monumental and beautiful place,” says Charline Avenel, rector of the Versailles Academy.
Prestigious and atypical establishment
The Buc school complex was hitherto the only establishment in France under the dual supervision of the French and German States. A second one will open in Strasbourg in September. Buc Franco-German public high school recruits from outside the sectorisation, following a selection through the CM2, 6th and second entrance examinations (for non-German). It was born from the shared desire of General de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to bring French and German youth together around bilingual education, to mix the French and German education systems. “In the context of the war in Ukraine, such commitments to peace and cooperation between countries and peoples in Europe have acquired a unique importance since 1945,” says regional president Valérie Pécresse.
The decision to rehabilitate the complex was made in 2015 and work started in 2019. All that remains today is to develop new sports infrastructure and wooded areas to replace temporary modular buildings.