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1602_DURLET
secondary school

Location :
Antwerp
Client :
AGSO - city of Antwerp
Subcontractors :
Bollinger & Grohmann - Ingenium - Eveka
Planning :
2016-2019
Category :
Completed
The extension of the Durlet school generates a series of straightforward geometries, addressing complex contextual and structural questions.

The existing built environment consists of a neo-Flemish renaissance court building from the late 19th century with three adjacent wings, renovated in the 1960s. The client wishes to construct a fourth wing following the initial plan. However, due to an apartment building located right next to the construction plot, urban regulations do not allow a fourth wing of the same volume.

Hence multiple ideas of exception. The ground-floor of the building, assembled in precast double walls and its floors in polished concrete, follows the general plan of the existing building ensemble and organises the entrance. The upper floors are rotated 53 from their base, generating a clear visual identity for the annexe, and offering a sheltered playground. It also provides vivid and refreshing views from the existing school, the apartment block as well as the classrooms in the new building.

The dense site is given the opportunity to breathe. The autonomous, prismatic conception of the upper stories heightens legibility and produces a newfound atmosphere. The facades are executed in white concrete blocks with precast concrete lintels, continuing the notion of a mineral context.

Once inside the building, the rich built contexts appear as intriguing landscapes.