Nursery and French school Gurgaon, India
Located in Gurgaon, a new city adjacent to New Delhi, our project is both at the edge of an upscale residential area and bordering on wastelands. Although the building is about 15 metres high, it looks tall above the ground, yet it is tiny when compared to 30-storey apartment buildings. The landscape is in itself a contrast between parched grasslands and overwhelming buildings. The concept was therefore to make the nursery the “urban child of the neighbourhood”.
The ambition was to design a building that would positively disrupt the rigour of the towers, whose seriousness verges on boredom. The new building would be infinitely smaller, but we wanted it bold enough to animate the neighbourhood like a child illuminates his home. Given the stunning monochromia of the surroundings, excessive use of colour was more of a reflex than a temptation— in any case, it was an evidence. And yet, we are the first to refute the association between children and bright colours. Here, the colour is aimed at the neighbourhood more than at the children, as shown by the interiors’ chromatic sobriety.
Our problem was to find a subtle use of colours that, precisely, are not. To this end, we combined two elements: grey, which is an equal association of three primary colours, and relief, which modifies the appearance depending on the point of view.
This is how we developed a “pineapple-skinned” cladding consisting of small three-sided pyramids, organized so as the three primary colours —cyan, magenta and yellow— alternate with the three secondary ones —orange, green and violet.
The pyramids are arranged in a way that the complementary colours adjoin each other. Thus, from a physical point of view, the façade is a vibrant decomposition of grey. Its relief, however, emphasises warm-coloured or cool-coloured facets, depending on the point of view. This is why the façade is never of the same colour. Looking from the street, you will see it blue or orange; the view from the top floors of the neighbouring buildings, however, displays a green or a yellow face. By day or by night, the building expresses the joy and life of the children who live inside.