The establishment has been registered as a Historic Monument since August 14, 2008 and is part of the "Patrimoine de l'Education Nationale".
René Billière was behind the creation in 1955 of a mixed outdoor high school with a climatic vocation (for young people suffering from respiratory problems) in Argelès-Gazost, a sub-prefecture of the Hautes-Pyrénées where he had a villa for many years.
It was inaugurated in October 1955.
In 2006, the climatic high school was renamed in his honor the climatic high school René-Billères.
The project was entrusted to a renowned architect, André REMONDET, trained in the classical tradition but open to the innovative ideas of Bauhaus and Le Corbusier.
From the sketch (1950), we can see a distribution of space that reveals hygienist and heliothermist concerns, the concern for direct contact with nature: the park is the central element, the buildings are distributed in a square, with a south orientation for the classrooms ("yellow"), east for the boarding schools ("green": boys' boarding school; "blue" and "red" for the girls' boarding schools).
The choice of colors stems from a desire to go for the simplicity of the primary colors: blue, yellow, red, with a concession to green; the whole is quite cheerful and goes well with the strictness of the gray concrete and the white of the walls.
Renowned artists, beyond cubism and surrealism, have worked to endow the place with works that correspond to the requirements of sun, space and nature.
These are for example the very colorful mosaics of SINGIER, which decorate the entrance porch and to which the one at the back of the courtyard answers.
The entrance porches of the day school and the boarding school for the "petites" have geometric ceramics in bright colors by Anna SLOCOMBE.
In the pool there was a mobile sculpture with a copper veil by Louis LEYGUE - it has unfortunately disappeared completely, but at the end of a rectangular lawn "the bachelière" by GELIN still expresses her joy cast in bronze.
In the former foyer of the girls' boarding school, a very large canvas by MANESSIER, marouflaged, invites you to play in the sun, in the snow.
Finally, on the concrete pillars of the south façade of the gymnasium, Etienne HAJDU's hollow sculptures play with the light and seem strangely animated and dynamic.
The same concern for the furniture: chairs by Florence KNOLL, made of a molded metal grid, partitions with curtains made of wooden strips in the classrooms, and in the girls' boarding school foyer a "piece of furniture-wall" all signed by Charlotte PERRIAND, at the origin of what we would call today "design".
Space, air, and light dominate in these places where open-air classes were even planned in the famous stone "rounds" built in the courtyard, near the pond; one can listen to the teachers there - the acoustics are excellent - while admiring the landscape and enjoying the sun.