Lycée Michelet is located in an old but storied suburb of Paris on a piece of land it first occupied in 1871. Vanves is a first-ring suburb at the southwest corner of Paris. The school (Lycée) is at the center of Vanes and within blocks of the Paris Convention Center and little more than a third of a mile from the Seine River. As with many schools throughout France, the naming tradition honors notable people in education, and Jules Michelet (1798–1874) was known for writing landmark textbooks about French history.

A recent redevelopment program for the Lycée Michelet campus was completed in May 2022 and included a new sports area featuring this multi-sports pavilion that is sheltered by a single-layer ETFE roof. Architects for the project, Paris-based Explorations Architecture (e-a), began with the decision to use only sustainable materials and a goal of maintaining a transparency of the site for the sake of the community that surrounds the campus. This pavilion is for not only the high school students during the week but also the neighborhood residents on off-hours and weekends.

The choice of a deep depth timber grid in the form of a shallow hyperbolic paraboloid (“saddle shape”), covered with a 2,250-square-meter ETFE foil membrane, made the most sense and met the program’s goals of durability, lightness and recyclability, as well as ease of maintenance.

As part of a heritage district, the Michelet sports area is restricted to a maximum height of 10 meters. This canopy measures between the 10-meter maximum and the minimum height of 7 meters that the sports activities require. 

The canopy—engineered, fabricated and installed by Taiyo Europe GmbH—is reinforced with stainless steel cross cables in the top edge of the roof, held up by steel columns.

Project data

Client: Ile-de-France authority

Architect: Explorations Architecture

Landscape architects: Base

Engineering: EVP Ingenierie

Canopy design, fabrication/installation: Taiyo Europe GmbH

Fabric: ETFE Nowoflon by Nowofol GmbH

Source link