Ecole des Grands Cyprès – Presentation: Avignon City Hall


Create all the conditions for success for our youth: this is the priority goal that we have set ourselves since 2014 and which we pursue relentlessly, convinced that a happy child is not only a student who works better, but also a fulfilled future adult. .

In a city that is resolutely in transition, where we are making major urban requalifications while trying to provide concrete answers to climate challenges, attention to beautification and renovation of schools is essential.

The rehabilitation expansion of the Grands Cyprès school complex, which will take place next year, will set the standard. Because this site, which has not undergone major works since its construction almost 60 years ago, will see the birth of a new building for five new kindergartens, an education center and a catering center by 2026, as well as the rehabilitation of two primary schools.

This new residential and educational place, in the heart of the neighborhood involved by the NPNRU, also makes it possible to create a connection between the North and South districts. Breaking boundaries, building bridges and encouraging coexistence: this is the future we design for our children!

Cecile Helle

Mayor of Avignon

Opening the school to the neighbourhood, grouping activities on a single site and integrating the project into the Cité Educative approach, that is the aim of the rehabilitation extension project of the Grands Cyprès school complex. An ambitious and large-scale project, the first of which the site has benefited since its construction in 1966. Located in the heart of a neighborhood involved in the New National Urban Renovation Program (NPNRU), the Grands Cyprès include two primary schools (378 children, 22 classes) grouped in two three-level buildings and a kindergarten (245 children, 10 classes) within one building. Creation of an educational center, new school restaurant, extension of the kindergarten, wooden facades, use of photovoltaic installations… the site, divided into 5 phases, will make the school group a place of life and education concerned with well-being. the success of its students and will visually mark the connection between the North and South districts.


A school catering center and an Educational City Center are rising from the ground. The latter will be realized in two parts, in particular the educational workshops on the one hand and the classrooms, the library and the multipurpose room on the other.


The Cité Éducative cluster is part of the process of the eponymous label obtained by the City in 2018, which aims to improve educational conditions in the so-called “urban policy” neighbourhoods. It will, among other things, house the Child-Parent Care Center (LAEP) and the Network of Specialized Assistance to Pupils in Difficulty (RASED).


Kindergarten and primary schools will be renovated, as well as the housing building that will eventually house a business incubator. A reception area for associations will be created in the Educational City Center. The project is resolutely open to the neighborhood and the city.


Five new kindergarten classes will be created, to which a dormitory and toilets will be added.


Organic and local materials will be used for the construction, with priority being given to wood. The site will be overgrown and the soil will be drained. The project aims for the silver Mediterranean Sustainable Building label.


Photovoltaic panels will power the buildings and the surplus produced will be resold. External insulation work on the two base buildings A and B will also allow significant energy savings.


The selected project is that of the group Brenas Doucerain Architectes. It creates a landscape heart of the block, bordered by a covered outdoor gallery. This will connect the poles to each other to guarantee cohesion within the school group as desired by the City. Coherence also applies to the appearance of the buildings, both new and existing, with in particular the treatment of the wooden facades. The project also emphasizes ease of movement. For example, the catering center, located at the interface of the nursery and primary schools, is easily accessible with a passage to a patio garden. In the same vein, two forecourts are created at the north and south entrances to the site. They are connected by a central axis connecting the residential area to the north and the suburbs to the south.


Education and equal opportunities, two themes close to Cécile Helle’s heart. In order to guarantee its students optimal conditions for success, the City is pursuing a proactive policy to modernize schools. Thus, several establishments have recently benefited from renovation works (Clos du Noyer, Camille Claudel, Sainte-Catherine), the forecourts have been redesigned to be more welcoming, the courtyards have been planted to bring nature and freshness to children… And a new construction, the exemplary Joly Jean school, is under construction and should welcome the first pupils from the beginning of the 2024 school year. It is in this spirit that the ambitious renovation extension project of the Grands Cyprès school complex is in line.

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