National School of Customs

1999 / 2003

National School of Customs

Education & Research

400-student school including general administration, library, 180-seat lecture hall, multimedia rooms, food and beverage area, tied cottages and halls of residence.

The construction of the National School of Customs is a major public edifice that, by its soft monumentality, integrated into the scale of the city, also creates a new public space. On the one hand, the building is autonomous and expresses the spirit of the institution; on the other hand, this building has a contextual structure and takes into account the surrounding scales, spaces and landscape.

The building leans against the existing constructions like a setsquare, within the logic of plots that characterise the urban fabric. The organisation of the plan into longitudinal strips that structure the project, recalls this plot form and allows the building to become part of the history of the city and to continue it.

The monumental gallery whose curves allow to preserve the existing trees is the key architectural element of the school and marks the institution as a singular and recognisable building. It links the school and the hall of residence into a coherent urban unity and opens up the National School of Customs onto the Park.


Contracting authority: Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, HLM Residence SA Civil Servants' housing
Architect: Architecture-Studio
Co-architect: Paindavoine-Parmentier
Engineering: Arcoba
Landscape design: Françoise Arnaud
Acoustics: AVA
Scope of work: complete assignment
Area: 9,400 sqm
Competition: 1999, winner
Completion: 2003

Tourcoing, France

National School of Customs

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