A compact and ecological community home
The Community building is located in Loker, a small village of 600 inhabitants. It is 1
out of 8 villages that form the Municipality of Heuvelland in West-Flanders. Heuvelland
is famous for its hilly landscape beauty, agricultural products and cycling tours. The project is the result of our winning entry for the Open Call competition, organised
by the Flemish and Municipal government. In order to improve the quality of the
social services, the Municipality decided to re-distribute the existing facilities in a
more decentralised and efficient way. Some villages enjoy a sports centre, others
the community centre, others the theatre, giving an impulse to each village centre, upgrading the public heart of the towns. This ‘swapping game’ can also work as a tool to promote social cohesion and exchange between the villages. The different buildings become specialised centres which are adapted to their specific tasks. This qualitative impulse is also part of a plan to promote cultural tourism in this region and attract new inhabitants and visitors.
The building consists of a reused part of the existing structure of a primary school build in the 60’s, covered by a large folding roof with a glazed façade. The changing shade, created by the various angles of the roof parts reminds of the surrounding patch-work landscape, while the corrugated roofing-material is similar to that used in neighbouring barns. The glazed façade provides a generous view over the surroundings, with an emphasis on the Sint-Petrus church, and the sloping landscape of the Kemmelberg. With reusing the existing 60’s building, we create a layered reading of the history of that place.
Diversity under one roof
The reused school-building houses the more intimate spaces, like the canteen, storage, sanitary spaces and meeting rooms. The polyvalent, open space can be used for a large variety of activities, like performances, gatherings, exhibitions, sports or parties. The smaller rooms can be opened up towards the polyvalent space, extending their potential, but the large space can also be divided by curtains so that several programs can coexist simultaneously.
The competition prescribed the demolition of the whole existing building, but
proposed to preserve the asbestos-free part of the structure, works out in our favour.
We created a financial advantage not having to construct new specific spaces, allowing for the polyvalent space to become larger then requested. A natural climate compartmentalization of use and energy management is automatically created by
the two main components of the building. The cantilevering roof acts as passive sun shading, blocking direct sunlight from entering the building in the summer, but allowing sunlight to heat the building in the winter. Another effort is made with the selection of MKA_visiteA.pdf building materials. Carbon neutral fiber cement panels are used for roofing, but also for interior cladding.
Construction time: 2011-2012
Gross area: 550 m2
Gross volume: 2600 m3
Materials: In situ concrete floors / steel structure/ wooden ceiling/ aluminium glazing/ fibercement plates (roof and interior walls)/
Contractor - demolition & foundation: Cokelaere Bouwteam (Wervik, Belgium)
Contractor - constructural enginering: Tronquo bvba (Geraardsbergen, Belgium)
Contractor - steelstructure enginering: Cos nv (Oudenaarde, Belgium)
Contractor - installations: Vandewalle nv (Jabbeke, Belgium)
Consultant epb: Feys bvba (Poperinge, Belguim)
Consultant intallations: Studiebureau Viaene (Koksijde, Belgium)
Consultant construction: LIME bvba (Gent, Belgium)