Cadix J7 A8148

"school factory" with workshops and classrooms

Cadix Nieuw Kempisch Dok (NKD) Campus

The new building block on the Kempisch Dok Westkaai replaces a derelict existing school building. The large new school is a compact volume with characteristic, repetitive, pitched roofs whose shapes refer to the repetitive roof structure of the CAD hangars facing the other side of the street. It consists of a total of six-storey front building approximately 16.4 m in depth and four slightly lower wings with three small courtyards in between.

location: Cadixwijk, Antwerp
design: 2009-2017
construction: from 2017
prize: 1st prize, Open Oproep n.1726, competition phase in collaboration with Hildundk, Munich
client: Scholen Van Morgen / SO Antwerpen
builder: ABT Antwerpen
advisor technical installations: RCR Herent
advisor design interior gardens: Atelier Arne Deruyter
photos: Luuk Kramer
Cadix Intro Axo NKD
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The building has the character of a factory building with large open spaces. The image of the new building refers architecturally to the industrial history of the island. The new school building clearly refers to the material and colour use of the immediate surroundings: until recently, the architecture of the working-class houses of the port workers dominated the scene on the "Eilandje", with their characteristic colours of white and ochre and typical ornamentation of glazed bricks. For the new building, we propose similar yellow and white bricks, with accents and ornaments of glazed bricks in the same yellow and white tones.

Cadix NKD Bricks
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The block consists of a plinth level, which is built on the ground floor and the first floor over the full depth of the plot. In this pedestal, the large, partly double-height practical premises of SL Technieken are housed. Practical areas are designed as open factories with two large voids. Due to the transparent character, these halls work with representative technical functions as a window to the city. The hall on the south side hosts woodworking machines; the hall on the north side machines for metalworking.

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On the mezzanine practical rooms are located around the large voids that are in direct contact with the workshops on the ground floor. In addition, support functions such as welding cabins are provided. The position of the "incubator" centre next to the entrance hall acts as an internal window for the vocational training. From this, literally and figuratively, machines are controlled in the work halls.

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The actual classroom structure has been placed on the upper floors, divided into 7 bays of approximately 15.6 m in width. For theory education, the school has uniform spaces on the second and third floors, used separately or in clusters. The floors with classrooms are spatially defined by a clear layout and a straightforward structure with generic premises. In particular, this includes an open character for the east side of the floors and the various courtyards where the lunch and drawing rooms are also situated.

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Cadix NKD Palette

In order to respond to future demands for less classroom education, the building has been developed as a flexible column structure.
As a result, the non-bearing partitions between the premises can be removed or moved, resulting in larger or smaller working spaces.
In consultation with the users, there is a distinction between single-function, specifically equipped science classrooms and generic classrooms. These large rooms are located at the ends of the building on the second and third floors.

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The large rooms on the fourth and fifth floors are intended as studios for the SL Cadix practical arts program. The floors are - similar to the lower two floors - executed as double-height open halls with staircases and voids. They are designed as studios with an open and simultaneously homely, warm atmosphere. These rooms have a studio-like character, and are therefore an important addition to the school, whose other spaces are defined by the Van Averbeke classical building design.

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