Expansion of a secondary school to new secondary school campus. A new school building is erected, with classrooms, cafeteria and theatre and the existing monastery in integrated into the site.
Context. A recent fusion also entailed an increase in the number of students (with about 600) for the Sint-Franciscuscollege in Heusden-Zolder. The school is located in Berkenbos, a green residential neighbourhood.
Design and cohesion. It is important that the design impacts the entire site even though only part of it is actually changed. The changes made aim to improve cohesion of the separate parts while still maintaining the green nature of the residential area and even introducing it on the campus.
Therefore, the entire campus lay-out is redrawn. A new canopy is a central point ensuring simple and clear circulation throughout the campus. This also serves to clarify the hierarchy and the link between the different buildings, thus providing a clear trajectory for students and visitors alike.
A clever chain of outside spaces provides variation, tailored to the students. Existing playgrounds are renovated and new outside spaces added, each with its own character: a wooded play area, a school foyer, a study garden, a sports field, etc. The school will use all available possibilities.
Sustainability. The renovated monastery, the compact new building, and the gym (which is connected to the old chapel) each have their own unique identity, but together they are the sustainable embodiment of this school’s future. It is important that the buildings are robust and inspiring, not only from a practical but also from a didactic point of view.