The “Jardin des Poupies”

The “Jardin des Poupies”

The “Jardin Des Poupies”: a unique place for disabled children 3 to 6 years.

A pioneering social project

Since February 2007, the ”Jardin des Poupies” (or “Doll’s garden”) has welcomed 75 children, some without disabilities, of up to 3 years old, and others with disabilities of all ages up to 6. This establishment is unique in France where there is no structure to accommodate disabled children from 3 to 6 years old. It is through the combined efforts of parents and leaders of the association that this project, which is a private initiative, has been made possible and the result is the construction of a new building.

An unusual building

Sensitive to the unique nature of the project and the human adventure that it represents, the architects from Topos wanted to create a symbolic place that differs from its immediate environment (school groups) and displays a strong identity, just like the image of the project it houses.

Totally stainless steel

Located in the beautiful park of the large school group Carcouet in Nantes, and on land belonging to the city, the building is largely covered with polished stainless steel, Uginox Bright applied over grade 304. Sober and elegant lines, it reflects the surrounding landscape and affirms its presence through the brilliance of stainless steel, while blending into the surrounding natural environment. A combination of strength and discretion 

A building/garden designed for meetings

Built on the ground floor, the building is organised in a “U” shape around a large central courtyard 400, with a canopy, onto which are connected all the entrances for all the rooms reserved for the children. In addition to these, a large 400 m² hall allows families to come together. A small inner bamboo floor and a play-room dedicated to water games underscore the lively and playful atmosphere.

The spaces are not assigned, so that children may move freely from one room to another.

The diversity of interior spaces echoes the views offered: while the patio is wide open on a planted open landscape, the courtyard and the lobby overlook a pine forest near the building, and the living areas enjoy the privacy of the patio.

Priority for the children’s comfort and respect for the environment

Thermal inertia is provided by the concrete structure of the building and its green roof. This also helps to slow the flow of rainwater. A heat pump and ten Canadian wells, 100 meters deep, ensure the underfloor heating. The building is also equipped with a double flow (filtered air, heated in winter and cooled in summer) ventilation system, which reduces energy consumption and promotes summer comfort.

Technical areas have been reduced to a minimum, in order to allow as much space as possible for the children. Thus giving them a calm, spacious area bathed in natural light.

Technical Files

Nantes, France
Topos Architecture
©Stéphane Chalmeau


Uginox Bright

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