In the meantime Expat boy has graduated from what turned out to be the best educational choice ever. He has enrolled in his university of choice and is spreading his wings.
Expat girl still has some years to go and she just hit the jackpot. The International School of Paris is inaugurating a new three-building campus in the center of town.
My first site visit to must have been nearly a year ago. At the time one could imagine that the recently acquired campus buildings were pretty much "plug and play". Of course, the planning team knew it needed some restructuring to comply with French building requirements for schools but having visited the campus this morning again the structural changes are impressive.
It was a pleasure to be guided around the three buildings and seeing the light beaming in, even at the lower floors. The Villa, a magnificent Neo-Gothic building, will no doubt impress newcomers to Paris but also have les habitués smile with pride.
Personally, I was impressed with the tremendous improvements to the 1950's building. What was an ugly duckling could turn into a beauty, especially with the "avantgarde techno-twist" (for lack of a better definition) that the architect has planned. It was reassuring to finally meet the architect who seems very competent and (judging by his past achievements) efficient. He was happy to answer all our question in a professional and respectful manner.
It was amazing to see the attention to detail such as preserving some of the original wood work and staircase during the restoration or the treatment of the slanted-ceiling classroom on the top floor of the Villa from where we spotted "une petite vue de la tour Eiffel".
The spaces are still very much open and basic but nevertheless mind-blowing and with a bit of imagination I can see this campus turning into a jewel. As one parent said, none of the students will want to move on to the next campus for Grade 10!
The icing on the cake, however, must be the quick detour onto the rooftop where I could not resist in taking a few shots.
It is exciting to follow the process and progress of this grande project. Come September 2018 this campus will be an outstanding home for an exceptional educational IB programme making great strides toward incorporating research, inquiry and innovation into its learning – a pillar of the current Strategic Plan.
One day the kids will realize how lucky they are...
"La Villa ISP"
The original glass cupola at the main entrance
A "petite vue" of the Eiffel Tower and a magnificent old fur tree next to the 1950 building
A majestic bow window
Let your imagination flow...
A work of art or in need of work?
Streamlining the spaces