The new school, designed by Tom Thys Architects in association with Carton 123, is part of a large-scale, neo-gothic ensemble that was designed by Louis Delaceserie in 1883. A Flemish Community primary school was added to this site.
The architects have, with the necessary degree of caution, geared their sober, somewhat massive building to the neo-gothic architecture. It has been located in a corner of the plot and its connection with the existing complex lies in its scale and the uniform colour of the deep-red brick. The plan shows two rectangular volumes containing classrooms that are turned at an angle to each other, with expressive stairwells inserted in between. This gives rise to a polygonal volume displaying equally demonstrative ridge roofs. The building self-confidently takes up its position between the school complex and the inner city, while the arrangement of the volumes allows the green vistas to be kept open, as well as multi-perspectival views from the classroom windows. Within the plinth of the building, a covered playground has been kept clear. A differentiated play area has been formed between the existing school wall and the new, raised volume, and it marks a clearly delineated space on the extensive playground. What is most striking about the architecture is its decorum. The building ‘speaks’ to its public in a discrete, almost businesslike tone, and appears to thoroughly distance itself from any ideological or philosophical profile.
This text is based on an article by Maarten Van Den Driessche, published in Flanders Architectural Review N°12: Tailored Architecture.