The new building will not only serve as a school. The classrooms will also be used to the maximum for after-school and extra-curricular activities, including the library and the gym.
The major challenge was fitting the extensive program onto a limited site and streamlining the various user groups: residents of the apartments, pupils, parents, school staff and users of the after-school infrastructure. It is also located in the middle of the dense city center of Brussels, consistently acoustics and the location of the neighborhood also important building.
Game of levels and ramps
The school is located in the inner area and on the ground floor along the Zennestraat. This ground floor is kept as transparent as possible in order to prevent the neighborhood as much as possible from school events. The apartments are located on the upper floors, with double high terraces. It plays with dividing levels and ramps for primary school and kindergarten, creating relationships of interest between the different levels.
The design therefore revolves around the experience of the users: playful relationships between indoor and outdoor spaces, abundant natural light through the implantation of outdoor volumes, rooms to be arranged, circulation spaces as free and dynamic spaces in the flexible of the classic static corridors and both indoors as well as on the playground by using absorbent coconut panels against the garden walls.
Those same coconut panels will be overgrown with native plant species to increase the biodiversity on the site. The floor of the playground is covered with permeable rubber, ideal for the water management of the site and for the acoustics. The facades of the school are fixed with a very durable type of wood. During the demolition of many materials such as joinery and bricks recovered for reuse in other projects.
In addition to the architectural sustainability, which is reflected in the flexibility of the building and the possibility of after-school use, there is also a focus on the technical aspects of sustainability. The houses and the school are very well insulated and equipped with sun blinds. To be mounted on the roof of the school and the houses. Night cooling is provided via automatically opened windows. The air groups can be equipped with a rotary heat exchanger for heat and moisture recovery and the ventilation is controlled (based on CO2 measurement) to keep the consumption of auxiliary energy as limited as possible.