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Public order for the redevelopment of the playground of the municipal school of Braine-le-Château

Vegetal implantation, concrete construction and ground painting.

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This large project of public art has begun during autumn 2017, with the contribution of the 5th grade, who was involved in the research during one years of workshops. The children made maps, wrote stories, described their rituals and their daily movements in space. All the different interventions have been thought in relation to this particular context. Questioning the children sociology, their organisation, interactions or conflicts.


It takes form with the creation of a garden and implantation of fruit trees (in relation with the local biodiversity), the construction of two uniques playing modules, and the production of a ground painting, which works as a 1/1 scale mapping accompanied by a legend.

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Map of the playground by Noé



Map of the playground by Zia


Works started during the school holidays 2018, with the creation of a garden next to the classroom and the implantation of 4 fruit trees on the street side. The location of the garden was defined by the children as a chill place during playtime. Surrounded by barrier in braided willows and crossed by Japanese steps, it offers intimacy and calm for discussion or drawing, and this point of vegetation reconnect with the background of the school, occupy by a small wood crossed by a river call Hain. When it was possible for security reasons, workshop were organized with students, for example all the trees have been plant with them.

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Garden next to the classroom and lines on the ground to organise the rows


Fruit tree planting workshop


The ground painting works as a 1/1 scale mapping of the children’s activities, accompanied by two legends and explanatory texts reproduced on the playing modules. The intervention can be explain in two ways corresponding to the color gradients. The cool color (blue and green) regarding the organisation of space to prevent conflict, and warm color (yellow) working more as a poetic interpretation of space.


Detail of the ground painting : The Path by Emmy



The hiding place modules were inspired by a group of girls who used to meet near a low wall surrounding the rubbish bins for their secret discussions. This little hiding place was the only one in the playground that was fully exposed to the street. I started to design the modules taking in account the safety necessities, and decided to work with the children's height as a model, so as not to interfere with adult supervision.

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Second hiding place module 

Legend of the football fields


Dans « imaginaire », il y a « image » et « imaginer », mais on y trouve aussi « air », « agir », etc. L’œuvre d’Edouard Pagant et des élèves de cinquième comporte une dose de ça, faite de choses simples, directes, lisibles, qui se prêtent à des appréhensions physiques et mentales comme à des lectures multiples en enchevêtrées, activées par la situation réelle et par les enjeux pédagogiques.

Detail of the ground painting


The bleu part represent football space, with 5 soccer fields proposing different occupations of space regarding to the number of players. The green lines are used to organize entry to class.The yellow part is composed of reproductions of perimeters imagine by the student during a workshop, to represent certain of their social interactions during playtime. The perimeters are accompanied by their title and the name of the author in the legend.


Hiding place module near the entrance to the playground


These two small architectures offer privacy for small groups, the views in the walls create the feeling of an interior and an exterior. They are coated with cement on some sides and covered with a paint that allows you to draw with chalk. 

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Detail of the ground painting


L’autre versant du projet vient des échanges avec les élèves et de leurs dessins peuplés d’images aussi concrètes que personnelles, qui sont ensuite entrés en résonance avec la magie du projet qui consiste à passer de l’idée visuelle à sa réalisation matérielle, transmutation éminemment intéressante pour l’ensemble de la communauté scolaire. Il en résulte une situation nouvelle, qui respecte intégralement la situation de départ tout en y incrustant les signes d’une intense activité pédagogique susceptible d’évoluer avec la vie de l’école et de la nature.

Raymond Balau

Video presentation of the playground by the 5th graders before the construction.

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