calori azimi botineau architects: primary school in beausoleil calori azimi botineau architects: primary school in beausoleil
may 09, 2011

calori azimi botineau architects: primary school in beausoleil

‘primary school in beausoleil’ by calori azimi botineau architects in beausoleil, france all images courtesy calori azimi botineau photographer: serge demailly

‘primary school in beausoleil’ by nice-based practice calori azimi botineau architects (CAB) is a three-storey educational facility and community/leisure center in the south of france. inserted into the natural topography of the sloped site, the project maximizes on its surface area by stacking multiple playgrounds on the pivoting volumes. 

exterior view of roof tops

bound on one side by the ‘moyenne corniche’, an arterial road linking italy to nice, and the ‘bretelle du centre’, a local road that winds around the hillside towards monaco, the site is limited in its footprint. in addition, in order to preserve the views toward the mediterranean, the design was limited in its height which resulted in a series of stepped-down volumes. the natural terrain is referenced by the offset stacking of each level, resembling the local agricultural tradition of stepped terraces.

(left) drop off zone (right) access to roof top playground

the bottom of the site provides access for parents dropping off their children while the top entrance off of the moyenne corniche accommodates staff parking on the roof of the building. each shifting volumes host the different programs – kindergarten, primary school, and canteen/leisure centre – creating a clear and autonomous system of organization.

outdoor play area


interior view

circulation space

(left) classroom view (right) outdoor space

aerial view

on site

in context

process diagram

site plan

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level +1

floor plan / level +2

floor plan / level +3

section a-a

section b-b

project info: client: town of beausoleil architects: jean-patrice calori, bita azimi, marc botineau)

colours and graphics: polly brotherwood structural engineers: turra heating: enerscop economics: artemis technical inspection services: veritas heavy construction/structural works: leon grosse sealing: seri metalwork: fossat joinery: dandon plumbing: cepitelli electricity: multitec lifts: kone

  • Love the terraced effect. Shame though that the kids are in a concrete/desolate play area. Some plants would do wonders.

    It’s a shame the fences weren’t made from nicer materials. It makes what is a lovely piece of architecture look a bit like a jail.

    BS says:
  • The most important element of a child’s day (play) was sorely neglected.

    Justin says:
  • kwa kweli interior design yake nimeipenda sana

  • Stunning site and amazing daydreaming view from the classrooms. Excellent use of upper space for kids play.


    I have to agree with the previous comments….. The budget seems to have run out in regard to the externals associated with play. Re : utility post and netting fences, glare off the surfaces, no applied colour or form outside to match inside, even some changes in surface and seating would be welcome – perhaps the building has yet to be occupied!

    Michaelangelo Design NZ says:
  • Nice school.
    The open play ground for children is dangerous….Azimi Botineau forgot that running (or not running) children can hurt if the floor isn’t made of soft material like in many other french schools.

    nico says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news