Collège des Frères Maristes
Saida, Lebanon

Located in Sidon, a coastal city south of Beirut, this extensive project consists of a large school programme, and includes multiple facilities. The treatment of the entirety in an identical architectural language contributes to the coherence of the project. The choice of the positioning of the various elements composing the programme, located on a slope, is determined by the function of each unit. Untreated and unpainted concrete makes up the architectural concept.

The school has classes ranging from kindergarten to secondary school, and includes boarding facilities. The reasoning behind the set-up is not based on any classification by age brackets, year, level or class, but rather on a classification by functions. Five functions are defined and are dealt with, in certain cases, independently: learning, praying, having fun, eating and sleeping. This distribution of functions is directly linked to the four typical functions determined by the modern movement, transposing them to the scale of this programme.

Kindergarten and primary school classrooms – a total of twelve classrooms of forty students – are split into two groups, offset height-wise by a 1.96m staircase so as to follow the natural sloping of the ground. The plan includes a covered playground on the Northern facade, usable by both groups. The boarding area is made up of four dormitories of forty-eight beds, each with an infirmary and two faculty common rooms. The axis of this building is placed along the slope of the terrain. With its reinforced concrete frame, the boards are made of reinforced concrete slabs over hollow blocks, including on the terrace. This project moulds the terrain, adapting to the slope as well as the functions of the programme.

The architect also even plans and designs the furniture, thus mastering the project down to the smallest details, including, for instance, the cabinets’ sliding doors. The treatment of the kindergarten is a separate thought process, as is the religious organisation of the Brothers, inclusive of areas of denser vegetation to act as a shield from the neighbours. The chapel expresses modernity, breaking off from any conventional classicism pertaining to this field.

A new kindergarten project was planned for 1965, inclusive of bigger rooms.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Saida, Lebanon
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Associated Names
Associated Collections
Variant Names
Collège des Frères Maristes
Marist Brothers' College
Building Usages
high school