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2009_INSAS
Development of an Performance Art School in an office building

Location :
Ixelles, Brussels
Client :
INSAS
Team :
AgwA
Subcontractors :
Enesta, PS2, ASM acoustics
Planning :
2020
Category :
Ongoing
Project for INSAS in an existing site. A project that aims to integrate the specific pedagogical needs of a school of theatre and dance in structures that were not designed for this purpose, and this within a limited budget.

While some of the spaces in the programme fit naturally into the existing structure, others will require modifications to the building. The purpose of the project is to limit heavy interventions, but when they are necessary, they will be without concessions to offer the best possible tool (in terms of volume, acoustics, functionality, etc.). The project therefore proposes to adapt the programme to the building and the building to the programme.

The intervention is divided into three parts: Preserve / Transform / Perform
Preserve: The front building is preserved. Interventions are minimal to avoid demolishing existing partitions that are recent and of good quality. The cafeteria, classrooms and office spaces are easily accommodated in the front building. The program elements are installed in the existing spaces. Lightweight partitions are added as needed.

Transform: As the backbone of the project, the large central circulation (linked to the existing footbridge) acts as a spatial reference and allows everyone to find their way around. It is punctuated by two patios that bring natural light to both the corridor and the rooms that surround it. It becomes the living centre of the school and makes all the spaces legible. The rear building is transformed to accommodate the theatre and dance specific teaching areas.

Perform: Part of the existing structure was demolished to create a new volume for the large theatre studio and the dance stage. These new spaces are uncompromising. The tool is efficient: the surfaces, heights, acoustics, and techniques are adapted to the specific needs of the programme. The Theatre and Dance Studio are easily accessible from the courtyard without having to open the whole school, thus allowing use outside school opening hours.

(Extracts from the Competition Proposal)