Martigues - Ferrières kindergarten school
- department: Bouches-du-Rhône
- commune: Martigues
- naming: Ferrières kindergarten school
- address: 25 chemin de Paradis - allée Pierre de Courbertin
- authors: Alphonse ARATI, Marius BOYER, Charles LESTRADE (architects), Jean PROUVE (engineer)
- date: 1951-1952
- protection: Inscription under the title of historical monuments by order of 19 March 2001
- label patrimoine XXe: Commission régionale du patrimoine et des sites (CRPS) of 28 November 2000
Located in the district of Ferrières, in the north of the city, on the former right of way of the salins become communal property, the nursery school is built, at the end of the Second World War, in a context of emergency where the industrial development of Martigues is accompanied by an unprecedented growth of its population.
Delivered in September 1952, it was commissioned by the Ministry of National Education to architects Arati, Boyer, Lestrade and engineer Prouvé.
The Ateliers de Jean Prouvé, based in Nancy, responded to a strong demand for the construction of schools.
Here Jean Prouvé uses glass and steel. The latter is made of folded sheet metal, forming a "crutch"; the light components are assembled by different bolt systems with a view to mass production in the factory. It uses in a punctual way exposed stone masonry parts skilfully highlighting the machined elements. The plan is designed in three types of spaces balanced with light:
- circulation, changing rooms and sanitary facilities,
- the playroom and classes,
- a protected outdoor area.
The large free facade under awning overlooks the courtyard to the south. It is composed solely of double doors entirely glazed over the whole height, which bring maximum light to the classrooms and, by the elegance of their line, perfectly illustrate the aesthetics of Jean Prouvé. At the rear, perpendicular to the classrooms, two blocks house the offices and the office, creating an outdoor space for reception. The facade panels are combined with painted aluminum panels with portholes. These famous porthole panels are in a way the signature of Jean Prouvé.
The Ferrières school is still in operation. Adjustments have been made in recent years without changing the general party. It is an example of the constructive idea of Jean Prouvé where the technical device becomes an element of architecture.
- Editor: Sylvie Denante, drac paca crmh, 2001