Bordered on one side by a railway embankment and on the other the Place de l’Insurrection, the Institut des Arts Culinaires et de l’Hôtellerie (INHAC, National Institute of the Culinary Arts and Hotel Business) is a symbolic marker at the entrance to the town of Saint-Gratien.
The project is almost circular in shape, winding around an open patio that opens on the ground floor to a hard-top basketball court.

This open area sees most of the foot traffic and gives access to all the classrooms. On the Place de l’Insurrection the building is chamfered with a cut side where a series of attractive windowfronts appear. Their scale seems to indicate the presence of specific rooms, i.e. kitchens, the restaurant, the lecture hall. The composition is finished by other bay windows, hollows, protuberances and edges. The side volumes are broken up by sometimes aligned, sometimes off-set strips; it is clad in stainless steel with vertical folds that play with the light and its reflections.

The building is made very sensitive and very reactive to the light variations because of its multiple facets, its edges and its overlapping metal clapboards, going from reds to blues depending on the time of day and the season.

The windows with hidden handles and bare on the outside as if cut with a Stanley knife are flush to the wall, which reinforces the effect of purity and a dematerialization of the walls’ thickness.
Beyond a simple functional solution, the architecture also plays an important symbolic role by enhancing the value of the building’s contents, its brief and the people working there. Vocational education deserves such added value. The plastic research done for the INHAC contributes to it.