Location Paris (FR)
Date Construction 1931 · Concept 2019
Status Competition Embellir Paris


Project team Mathilde Gudefin & Salomé Wackernagel · M S Studio

The school group of the rue Keller in the 11th district of Paris has been built between 1929 and 1931. Our intervention on the 40 meters long outside wall is based on an extensive study of the historic and social context, which is essential to our work and approach. The 1930s, and moreover the Modernist and Art Deco movements constitute the golden age of large frescoes with geometric patterns, volumetric composition, and the rich chromatic spectrum which, assembled into a participative process, express a continuity in the spirit of the Keller School. We imagined a living wall, a wall that communicates with the street and speaks to the sidewalk users.
The proposed structure houses a series of modular panels which are fixed to the existing concrete wall. This relief ensemble will make up the new street design; it consists of a modular alphabet of mosaic-like relief patterns, and the decorative motifs: geometry, plants, flowers, faces (busts), and the cityscape. These patterns allow us to address pedagogical and civic thematics during workshops organized with the children of the school: during these workshops, we wanted to explore and transcribe the topics on the school wall, involving the creativity of the children who are led to re-explore the neighbourhood and the surroundings: the geometry recalling the particular architecture of the place, the vegetation dear to the municipality of Paris and its environmental ambitions, the faces that symbolise diversity and humanity in the French capital.