Paleizenstraat 153 - 1030 Brussels
T 022444430 F 022444431 E

Renovation and extension of a school

Location :
Client :
Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles - direction générale des infrastructures
Surface :
5500 m2
Subcontractors :
JZH & Partners, ASM acoustique
Planning :
Category :
The Angleur project is an extension and major renovation project for the former Royal Athenaeum in Angleur. After numerous modifications to the purpose and organisation of the building, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation wishes to re-establish its original school function by hosting the "Ecole de Tous" with its innovative school vision. The architectural interventions aim to spatially translate this new educational program.

The site separates an industrial area from a listed park, housing the town hall and a sports hall built in 1960. To create a coherent urban whole, the façade of the school project facing this park is made the main façade, turning towards these emblematic edifices.

The innovative program of the "Ecole de Tous" aims to attenuate the distinctions between the different levels of learning and age: the grouping of children goes beyond ages and subject-specific orientations. The teaching days, which are longer than those of ordinary education, are organised around a series of activities - polytechnic, artistic, physical, scientific, and linguistic. Each activity is allocated a space within the existing rigid reinforced concrete structure from the 70s. The whole program is centred around a new and special function: the "houses" – open, flexible rooms for the children to experiment. These houses are the keystone of the "Ecole de Tous" program: they establish the identity of the school and the new face of the surrounding public space and the building.

The design of the project goes beyond the simple efficiency of the layout of the existing programme; it aims to take advantage of the old to enrich the new, both in terms of the interior and exterior spaces, within a wider green environment. The existing elements - walls, partitions, ceilings, and structural elements - are repaired and reused. The project takes advantage of all these elements by bringing their materiality to the forefront and using them to serve its program.

The extension that shelters the "houses" has its own materiality: it is based on the contrasting intersection of old techniques (a base made of brick arches and industrial materials, a glass façade punctuated by wooden posts and crowned by a corrugated iron roof).