An inclusive school

Schools in Saint-Denis

In collaboration with Christine Mathieu, creative director of the graphic design studio atelier l’épicerie, we studied the architecture of Atelier Novembre to understand how graphic design could improve its use:

Unity into the separation. The schools being in a priority education zone, the user flow of the nursery and elementary school are separated despite being on top of each other.

To minimise the divide, we designed a color system made of camaïeu which shades from greens (3 to 6 years old) on the ground floor to blues (6 to 11 years old) on 1st and 2nd floor. This leveling up from green grass to blue sky hopefully strengthen the feel of belonging to these different age group.

Create local identity. The complex is in a new area between Stade de France (north Paris) and the city of Saint-Denis. It therefore belongs to Saint-Denis but owns no local history or identity.

For 35 years, Michel Quarez has lived and painted Saint-Denis walls. But his art isn’t only local, it also depicts the different ethnicity of Saint Denis. We thought this rare aspect could participate in creating a strong link between the kids and the building.

Michel Quarez painted three murals and we designed the signage accordingly to create an overall graphic coherence.


Colors : Christine Mathieu (atelier l’épicerie)
Signage : Paul Pajot (atelier l’épicerie)
Murals : Michel Quarez
Architecture : Atelier Novembre

global mural

global mural

global mural

global mural

paper prototype

paper prototype / final metal one

main entrance

nursery school entrance – 3 to 6 years old – ground floor

game room – nursery school

toilets – nursery school

canteen – nursery school

dormitory – nursery school

primary school entrance – 6 to 11 years old – 1st and 2nd floor

canteen – primary school

directional sign – primary school

boys toilets – primary school

library – primary school

directional sign – primary school

multi-activity room – primary school

blues – 6 to 11 years old – 1st and 2nd floor
greens – 3 to 6 years old – ground floor

gymnasium entrance

directional sign – gymnasium

toilets and coffee room – gymnasium

positional signage – everywhere

6 months later, it’s nice to see school projects themed around Michel Quarez – our identity is hopefully creating a sense of place.

Michel Quarez

Created and painted 3 murals
Assisted by Paul Pajot
Produced by Atelier l’Épicerie/Christine Mathieu

Paul Pajot
Digital & signage designer

Co-design & lead on signage design

Christine Mathieu
Founder & Creative Director at Atelier l’Épicerie

Co-design & lead on color design

Jacques Pajot
Founder and co-director at Atelier Novembre
Thomas Luksenberg
Architecte at Atelier Novembre

Architecture lead of the project

Bonus !
Here is the making of the murals with Michel Quarez :

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