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The new Paper Nursery is a beacon among the bleak

A dense urban site surrounded by social housing blocks in France now looks out onto the landscaped and folding roof of the new 'Paper Nursery'.

Designed by Wild Rabbits Architects (WRA), the design takes its inspiration from origami - the playful and patient art of folding paper.

A difficult site, the new building was to be constructed over an existing car park. Whilst being set back from the street required an entrance through the ground floor of the existing adjacent building.

The only indication of the new nursery behind - an undulating bronze canopy, inviting the visitor to follow it within.

Steps lead up to a sunny yellow play area, from which all the classrooms break out onto.

The undulating canopy twists and folds - forming floors, wall and roof garden. Golden latticed semi-transparent screens shade the interior both from sun and the eyes of the surrounding buildings.

Section showing the entrance through the adjacent housing block (left) and the underground car park (right).

The new centre sandwiched in on all sides by bland tower blocks stands like a jewel among the bleak.

High quality materials and finishes says this building is proud. It respects the inhabitants inside.

Colours are selected for their calming qualities and to give the spaces identity.

Natural tones and the use of plenty of windows both at ground and clerestory level give the inside spaces a feeling of warmth and a sense of wellbeing.

Thanks to WRA for sending this in to the AEC.


site by Ana Degenaar