gable roofs, wooden cladding and pops of color shape FAUN's school group in rural france

gable roofs, wooden cladding and pops of color shape FAUN's school group in rural france


FAUN draws from local context to builds school group in josnes, france


nantes-based architecture firm FAUN has built a warm and colorful school group called ‘les moulins’ in the josnes villages of central france. drawing from the local architecture, the building incorporates gable roofs, wooden fencing, and bright pops of color, marking the beginning of a new development in the area. combining volumes of different scales, large forecourts and internal patios, the complex responds efficiently to the needs of students and employees, merging harmoniously with the existing landscape. 

a school about scales and evolution 1
following the pedestrian pathways from the village center, pupils start to discover the school, appearing from behind a high hedge

all images © gaëtan chevrier, unless stated otherwise


simple volumes perceived at different scales


realized within a rural context, the project expresses an architectural language that originates from vast planted fields, gabled-roof farms, and fencing easements. to ensure its harmonious integration into the area, the school faces the village center, with the forecourt being the prolongation of existing pathways in the site. this orientation is the starting point for the circulation plan within the building. from the forecourt, students can then enter the building from one of the wings, either the western one housing the preschool zone, or the eastern one that accommodates the elementary school. each of these two wings leads to its own dedicated playground.


hallways surrounding the central patio organize the circulation within the structure, while offering ample natural light thanks to the large windows. an internal patio takes the central place in the complex, serving as an extra teaching space without compromising the school’s way of operating. the simple volumes that compose the entire ensemble and always refer to the local setting, can be perceived at different scales: domestic for the children and adults that inhabit the school, and public in the context regarding the town.

a school about scales and evolution 7
reinterpreting the local shapes and landscape, the school uses these long volumes and enclosures to create a safe place for children

a school about scales and evolution 2
the volumetry refers to the traditional farmhouses of the area, built using the same material, façade, and roofs

a school about scales and evolution 4
the central patio is thought of as an evolving, complementary space made to serve as a playground, and host future extensions of the building


a school about scales and evolution 5
around the central patio, hallways organize the transition to the classrooms while opening to generous views of the surrounding landscape

a school about scales and evolution 6
from the school’s elementary wing, children have direct access to a dedicated and partially covered playground and to the canteen

a school about scales and evolution 3
located under the gabled roofs, classrooms embrace both the adult’s and the child’s scale




image courtesy of FAUN
image courtesy of FAUN
image courtesy of FAUN
image courtesy of FAUN

project info:



name: les moulins school group
architects: FAUN

location: josnes village, france

area: 1,389 sqm



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom

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