Extension and transformation of an elementary and secondary school as pilot project for
"Schools of Tomorrow"
A modernist school complex sits atop a site with an impressive topography, within a dense urban area of Brussels.
Our proposal perforates various groundfloors (on different levels, following the topography) to create visual and physical connections between the buiding and the life around it. These perforations facilitate orientation, readibility and easy way-finding.
To avoid acoustic problems during playtime, the current playground at the core of the school is moved to the perimeter, and divided per age group. This enhances appropriation and age-adapted play environments. The different playgrounds are in close connection to their respective classrooms, and partly covered, programming the perforations of the groundfloors.
The school complex combines a primary and secondary school in one flexible whole. Overlaps between and within age groups are encouraged, by foreseeing generous circulation spaces. We imagine the circulation to be a place of encounter and exchange. In the central zone, this overlap is maximised, by adding common spaces: a canteen, 2 polyvalent spaces and a grandstand at the entrance.
The existing building is of high structural and aesthetical quality. We keep as much as possible, carving and adding locally and strategically. An intelligent skin is wrapped around it, to comply to the most recent norms.
This performing building offers great flexibility: it can host an array of different functions, without structural alterations.