St. Exupéry - French School

St. Exupéry – French School

Project: Renovation and Extension of the annexe St. Exupéry of French School

Location: Alcobendas, Madrid (ES)

Team: Flint architectes + Joaquín Aramburu Maqua, Francisco Botella Botella, Clara Aramburu Mendiguren, Mar Herrera Díaz, Antonio Aramburu

Client: Lycée Français de Madrid

Date: 03/05/2013


The building is a response to the expansion needs of the Saint Exupéry’s kindergarten, belonging to French School in Madrid.

The architectural proposal has three main objectives:

INTEGRATION Respecting the pre-existing urban and architectural landscape.

FORMAL AND CONCEPTUAL SINGULARITY,  to transmit a modern image that contributes positively to increasing social perception of the role of cultural vanguard of the French School.

FUNCTIONALITY. Without concessions, with connection between the layout and the functional program, resolution of access control, foot traffic, security and logistics. The most appropriate building solutions have been chosen for quality, cost, durability and ease of management and maintenance, all within expected budgetary possibilities.


Architectural integration is achieved through the use of brick facades, present both in the existing building and in the common services new construction.

This structure supports a lighter construction made of colored glass walls, which aligns with the geometry of the existing building.

Thus, around the new building we generate a number of different spaces, densely wooded, to be used as an access garden, the sports courts and the elementary and college playgrounds.


We sought to emphasize the contrast between the heaviness of the brick construction and the lightness and transparency of the glass construction.

Color and light have been taken as a starting point for the design of the buildings and its interior design.

Outwardly, the glass panels of the facades alternate transparent and opaque glass. In addition to controlling the amount and color of sunlight inside, it gives the facades formal richness and defines the essential features of its architectural image.

Inside, this color code has been led to the classrooms and common areas, singling each one of them by having everyone a different color combination in floors, walls and frames.


The design of the building has used the rationality in the design of the spaces and in the building solutions.

We also designed a number of courtyards that provides natural light and ventilation to all the common areas.

They work as an outdoor extension of elementary classrooms in the ground floor.

The classrooms located on the south side get their sunlight through these courts, thus allowing the south windows to be smaller.

In this facade, solar control blinds are integrated into the construction to limit solar radiation.

In contrast, northern classroom have been designed with large panes of colorless glass, which also allow a good view of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

The building has a central control system, which regulates the supply of clean and filtered air from outside, or the opening and closing of blinds depending on the external conditions. It controls also collection and treatment of used water and rain water, to be used in flushing toilets or watering, thus minimizing energy waste and use of water for the operation of the building.

 ArchDaily review