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L’École du Plateau:
a public space connected to the neighborhood integrating inclusive children’s games

ID card
  • Project name: École du Plateau

  • Location city/canton: Lancy, canton of Geneva

  • Type of project: Public establishment

  • Project start date: 2017

  • Delivery date: spring 2022

  • Surface area of ​​the AMEX project: 5,100m2

  • SIA phases: 21 - 52

  • Architect: by competition (MEP)

  • Partner company: Steiner, CLR Architectes SA

The mission

✔️ Respect a plant palette composed of 100% certified organic plants.

✔️ Integrate inclusive play spaces for children with disabilities and reduced mobility.

✔️ Support the city of Lancy on a changing project, divided into several phases. 

The brief

The Plateau school is located in the district of the same name, on the heights of Lancy. At the corner of Avenue du Plateau and Route de Saint-George, the 7,000 m2 plot plays a central role in the neighborhood. This public school welcomes several integration classes for children with disabilities; inclusiveness is at the heart of the project.

The building is located in the northeast corner with an organization oriented towards the interior of the plot. The initial program provided for construction in two phases, with the second part planned for 2030. During the project, the two stages were finally combined, leading to upheavals in the schedule and requests for authorizations. Adaptability and the art of negotiation were the key words of this project.  

A school open to public space with inclusive play areas

During our initial mandate with Steiner, we created different outdoor spaces around the school: a courtyard to the south, a covered courtyard, a play area, a park, a tree line and a small square to the north connected to the road .

What is special about this project? The integration of inclusive games, designed for children with disabilities and reduced mobility. The entire project was developed so that it was completely open to the neighborhood. Residents, parents, children and users freely benefit from all outdoor spaces.

The plant palette is made up of 100% certified organic plants. A desire from the town of Lancy which refocuses the choice towards varied and rich species, thus creating a very eclectic palette.

After the delivery of this first phase, the city of Lancy then mandated us to complete the project. A multi-sport field connects to the south of the plot and an additional planting campaign provides more shade to the mineral courtyard. The objective is to provide shade with large trees to respond to climatic challenges and heat pressures.

Focus on: Exterior surfaces designed to combat heat islands

Depending on its albedo (reflection index of a surface), a material absorbs or reflects solar energy. The darker it is, the lower its albedo, the more it stores heat and releases it in the evening, creating an urban heat island phenomenon.

For this school in an urban area, we opted for a light coating with a higher albedo than a black or dark material. Areas of earth and stone allow water infiltration and the planting of large trees will provide shade to the courtyard in a few years: it is an “island of freshness in the making”. The choice of plants and materials is decisive in the fight against the urban heat island phenomenon. It is also the role of the landscape architect to anticipate the climate challenges of tomorrow.

A project in motion that continues to develop

This project has the particularity of always being in motion. The city trusts us in the long term and mandated us directly after the end of the work with the general contractor. We delivered part in spring 2022, and we have new additions for 2023 and 2024. It is a project that is completed as the municipality purchases surrounding plots.

“It is a project in development which continues to evolve today”