Rousseau State School


République et canton de Genève
Alain Ritter
1965 - 1969

Rousseau state school is the first of the schools designed as part of the strong development of Geneva school infrastructures in the sixties. In order to meet the constraints of costs and rapid construction time, the founders of our office suggested to the Canton of Geneva a standardised construction method making use of precast elements.

Set up in a neighbourhood of villas, this edifice must not dwarf the nearby houses. Located on a slope, the building is deployed horizontally depending on a square plan and characterised by elegant proportions and understated shapes. The school facade distinguishes between the parts dedicated to administration and those to teaching: curtain walls for the first, succession of alveoli for the second, all resting on corbelled half-arches. The concrete surfaces are elaborated, rough concrete for the load-bearing walls and sandblasted concrete for the precast structures. The predominant colour shades are black, brown, grey and white.