Renovation and expansion of existing infrastructure. This project consists of new construction (a large L-shaped building) connecting old and new, and restores (or develops) the buildings’ green surroundings.
Context. The design starts from respect for and the defining character of the existing building which was erected in 1932. The then very advanced ‘ocean liner architecture’ served as the inspiration for the new buildings and their transparency.
Design new construction. The new (L-shaped) volume surrounds the whole, creating a school courtyard. This new space creates cohesion, organization and intimacy. The new volumes are placed on one continuous base which connects old and new. This base contains auditoria and meeting spaces connecting the entire school.
The addition (new construction) is modest compared to the existing building, both in volume and typology. This was a conscious choice. The buildings are related, yet different. The clear imagery and the powerful design of the outside walls make the new building part of the existing one. They form a whole within which the parts reinforce one another.
Surroundings. The surrounding landscape is also renovated and improved. The area in front of the building is restored to its former glory: cars are parked underground and the new open space offers views on the city and on the unique river bend of the Scheldt. The other elements surrounding the school regain their natural character which is linked to the typical character of the river in this specific spot.