Préau des Enfants

The Préau* des Enfants is part of the art centre « Espace de l’Art Concret » that inhabits the Château de Mouans-Sartoux. At the initiative of the founder, the small exhibition pavilion for the art education programme was created shortly after the new museum building opened.
The structure, located in the château’s park, can be reached on foot via different paths. Similar to a large window, it opens toward nature and frames it. The horizontal structure of the light-coloured pavilion, made of exposed concrete, contrasts with the dark, vertical tree trunks.

The solid walls and roof of the Préau converge toward the centre like wings. A free standing wall in the middle, with integrated, weather-protected display cases on both sides, acts as a partition of the open space, so that courses and events can take place simultaneously. Two long, low benches made of solid wood along the open sides provide room for entire school classes and can be used to sit on or as shelf space.

The inside walls are smooth and painted white. On the outside, the concrete is left raw, with an organic texture from its visible wood formwork. In this manner, the object-like building fits into its sourroundings, between contemporary art and nature.

* French for a covered open schoolyard pavilion

Location Mouans-Sartoux, France

Programme Exhibition pavilion, children's workshop

Planning/Construction 2003

Client Ville de Mouans-Sartoux
Funding: Michael Hilti and Gottfried Honegger

Team G/G Gilles Dafflon (Project Manager), Leander Morf

Contact architects BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer, Zurich

Photos © Serge Demailly