Project name
Project data

primary school Edison
renovation and expansion of two schools

The historical images of the impressive school complex on Onderwijzersstraat evoke different emotions: nostalgia, respect, admiration, but also some aversion. The pupils of that time must have felt very small. The elongated schools grandeur is awe-inspiring yet equally intimidating.

Todays perception of education and the associated spaces is much different than 100 years ago. A contemporary school must be an inspiring learning and living environment that presents itself to its surroundings with an open face, not a walled fortress. Yet in our opinion the strict school has timeless, spatial and architectural qualities that make it suitable for a meaningful transformation. Even without extensive changes, Edison can become a school that does justice to its past and at the same time complies much better than before with current educational views. The large playgrounds and gardens play an important role in this.

In our proposal, the generous, clear and symmetrical layout serves as the starting point for a contemporary school that accommodates different forms of education.

location: Hoboken, Antwerp
competition: 2018 (1st price)
design: 2018-2020
realisation: 2021-2024
client: AG Vespa
structural engineer: Goudstikker De Vries, 's Hertogenbosch
advisor technical installations: RCR, Herent
contractor: TM ACH Bouw - Floré - De Molen
illustrations: Rotraut Susanne Berner

citygate Brussels - a l’île
Living, working and learning in the productive city

Biestebroeck was, is, and will be a place of production, initiative and activity. A place where working, learning, living coexist side by side. A place for everyone, a neighborhood for all.

Together with AHA, noArchitects and Sergison Bates Architects, we are working on the Citygate II / Petite Île project in Brussel after a competition won in 2019. Over the next few years, a new district with 400 flats, 15,000 m2 of workspace and a large school complex consisting of several buildings will be developed in Biestebroeck, a former industrial area in Anderlecht. The project is part of the 'Canal Plan' of the Brussels city architect, which specifically focuses on the idea of the productive city aiming at lively and productive city neighbourhoods with mixed programmes for working, producing, learning and living.

clients: SLRB/ City Dev/ Foyer Anderlechtois
collaborating architects: AHA (Aurelie Hachez/Elseline Bazin); Sergison Bates Architects SBA; NoA Architects; Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten
design team A l’île: Boom landscape Amsterdam, landscape; Detang, consultant technical installations; Groep D, consultant structural design; Daidalos Peutz, consultant acoustics; ELD, consultant costs and specifications
programme: ca. 400 apartments; ca 15000m2 workshops; school complex (kindergarden - secondary school); offices
competition: 2019, BMA Brussels
building application: 2021
tender: 2022/ 2023
realisation: 2024- 2027
illustrations: collaborating architects, with special thanks to Nora Walter and Elke Schoonen (NoA Architects)

Campus Cadix
Campus Cadix

The project for the new Cadix school campus on the Eilandje in Antwerp is a complex urban and architectural design task with a long history. The project was implemented in phases from 2017 and will be fully operational from 2022. It involves the integration of two secondary schools and housing in a highly urban port environment. The highly diverse programme components are spread over a large new building block and several existing monumental buildings, all designed by Emiel van Averbeke. The former primary school with kindergarten from 1927 and the former 'recruitment hall for dockworkers' from 1938 or the 'CAD sheds' form the heart of the development. They have been restored, rebuilt and extended.

location: Cadixwijk, Antwerp
design: 2009-2017
realisation: from 2017
competition: 1st prize, Open Call Flanders 2104, in collaboration with Hildundk, Munich
client: Scholen Van Morgen / SO Antwerpen
structural engineer: ABT Antwerpen
advisor - technical installations: RCR Herent
advisor - restoration: Callebaut Architecten Gent
advisor - garden design: Atelier Arne Deruyter
photography: Luuk Kramer
illustrations competition: team KSA, with special thanks to Moritz Bernoully and Arne Weiss

Campus Cadix monumental building VVA
Campus Cadix VVA

The monumental school ensemble designed by former city architect Emiel Van Averbeke was built between 1921 and 1925. The large building complex is conceived as a representative palace-like structure with three courtyards and clearly designed hierarchies. In the original design, both style preferences and explicit views on education played a role. In an eclectic composition, we find different façade compositions, floorplan types, roof shapes and very different inner courtyards side by side.

The pedagogical concept of the building as an institute consisting of different departments with distinct pedagogical aims and the stylistic development of architecture between 1900 and 1930 run parallel, creating a building complex that simultaneously refers to the architecture of The English House from the turn of the century as well as to the progressive architecture of Berlage and his followers. The eclectic architectural language positions the entire school at a significant cultural distance from the architectural character of its direct surroundings, the port area of the 'Eilandje' with its industrial hangars and working-class housing.

location: Cadixwijk, Antwerp
design: 2009-2017
construction: from 2017
competition: 1st prize, Open Oproep n.1726, in collaboration with Hildundk, Munich
client: Scholen Van Morgen / SO Antwerpen
structural engineer: ABT
advisor - technical installations: RCR Herent
advisor - restoration: Callebaut Architecten, Ghent
advisor - design interior gardens: Atelier Arne Deruyter

Campus Cadix nieuw building NKD
"school factory" with workshops and classrooms

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

Campus Cadix CAD/KOT
the CAD halls

The building application for the recruitment room for port workers dates from 1938; the building was commissioned on 5 February 1940. The architect was Emiel van Averbeke, the city architect who ten years earlier had built the neighbouring school ensemble. The complex consists of four interconnected hangars with saddle roofs. Here, port workers came together in large groups; the raised walkways provided overview and control.

location: Eilandje, Kempisch Dok Westkaai, Antwerp
year: 2009 - 2021
client: SO Antwerpen/ AG Realestate - Scholen van Morgen
contractor: Strabag (hall 1+2), Monument (Cad hall 3, printing workshop)
advisor - technical installations: Adviesbureau vd Weele with AACO Architecten/ Peter van Orshoven (Cad hall 3, printing workshop), RCR
structural engineer: H4D, Jaap Dijks (Cad hall 3, printing workshop), ABT
photography: Maurice Tjon A Tham, Luuk Kramer, Karin Borghouts

Secondary school Labors
urban school village

In an inner courtyard behind the Lakborslei in Deurne, we are building a large new school. Because of the strange shape and the tight dimensions of the available lot, the many neighbours and urban planning regulations the ambitions of the client and reality do not seem to fit together at first sight. Nevertheless, the sheltered location offers surprising possibilities for a green and homely learning and living environment.

location: Deurne, Antwerp
competition: 1st prize
year: 2016
client: SO Antwerpen with AG Vespa
structural engineer: Util Brussel
engineer - technical installations: Ingenium Brugge
technical advisor - competition phase: Jan Piet vd Weele

youth facility Everaertsstraat Antwerp
youthful backyard

How do we transform a narrow and fully built courtyard in a densely populated neighbourhood into a green and inspiring learning and living environment? How do we build a school on such a location that feels like a home to children and young people from totally different backgrounds? And how do we ensure that both indoor and outdoor spaces are generous, sturdy and light enough to stimulate appropriation and initiative?

Municipal Education Antwerp urgently needs additional school capacity in its inner city districts. The municipality therefore organised an invited competition for a combined school for young children and spaces for youth groups in Antwerp North making use of an existing property. Having won the competition we will transform a number of existing buildings, including a former factory building into a spacious multifunctional facility for the youth. On the adjacent eastern part of the site we replace several structures of lesser quality with a new playground, a new gym and purpose built classrooms for the youngest and oldest children of the new school community.

location: Antwerp BE
status: competition design, 1st prize
installation and sustainability advisor: JanPiet vd Weele
illustrations: Rotraut Susanne Berner

Het Landje Public Elementary School
room for play

The "Het Landje" primary school in the centre of Rotterdam was in dire need of additional space for quite some time. Following an extensive search for an appropriate location for an extension, the former building of the Hildernisseschool on the Schiedamse Vest, just opposite the main building of the primary school was refurbished. The existing building, with its comparatively generous dimensions, offered more space and possibilities than any new building would have.

The Hildernisseschool was built in 1968 as an extension to the older, adjacent school building, designed by municipal engineers. The architectural language of the existing building avoided all references to its function as a building for children; however, its rational structure, consisting of concrete columns, beams and floors, made it highly suitable for transformation.

After the refurbishment the outer and inner appearance of the building have been radically changed. The skin of the building was insulated and plastered, integrating an additional volume on the roof. All windows were replaced and the roof was insulated and covered with vegetation. 

location: Schiedamse Vest, Rotterdam city centre
design: 2010-2013
realisation: 2013-2014
client: Stichting BOOR, Bestuur Openbaar Onderwijs Rotterdam
structural engineer: IOB, Hellevoetsluis
advisor - technical installations: Nieman-Valk, Rijswijk
contractor: Sprangers, Delft

A.J. Schreuderschool
house and garden

To us a school is much more than just a well functioning institution. It's a living environment designed for a specific place and community, with inspiring yet timeless indoor- and outdoor spaces that offer both protection and an open view to the world.  

location: Rotterdam Lombardijen
design: 2008-2011/ 2013
realisation: 2011-2013
client: Stichting PCBO, Protestants Christelijk Basisonderwijs Rotterdam
advisor programme: Esther Dekhuijzen, Plusontwerp, Rotterdam
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Utrecht
technical installations: Adviesbureau vd Weele, Groningen
contractor: vd Heijden, Schaijk
photography: Luuk Kramer, Moritz Bernoully

Freinet Elementary Schools in Lille and Herentals
open-air schools under glass

The sites for the two Freinet schools in Lille and Herentals are overwhelming. Green, spacious, central and yet sheltered and intimate. Simply ideal for a natural learning environment. We designed two small school buildings embedded in nature. With large rooms, high ceilings and lots of light. They are compact schools without hallways. A large greenhouse for playing, running, gardening instead of a conventional corridor. Façades without screens or shutters but with a large pergola covered by plants protecting the classrooms from the sun. Large houses with sloping roofs and grass on them. No classroom without glazed doors to the garden. Learning and living in the middle of nature.

The projects for the Freinet primary schools in Lille and Herentals are inspired by the rich tradition of open-air schools in Europe. The movement mainly created special buildings in the first half of the 20th century, with the contact of students with nature being the main focus of both the architecture and the pedagogical approach. In our opinion, the often radical simplicity of this architecture is utterly timeless and we find it inspiring for our present time.

location: Lille and Herentals (BE)
design: 2009-2012
realisation: 2013-2014
client: GO! -Onderwijs van de Vlaamse Gemenschap
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek
advisor - technical installations: Adviesbureau van der Weele
advisor - construction: Architectenbureau Van Peer
contractor: Swinnen
photography: Luuk Kramer, Karin Borghouts

Don Bosco Elementary School
learning from nature

The new school site is a children's paradise before we even start. It's vast and green, there are fields, orchards, a broad valley, water, wilderness, groves, endless possibilities to play. 

The strong brick architecture of the Salesians gives the place character and spatial identity. The venerable buildings anchor the new development to the village, the history and the meaning of the place. We would therefore like to give these buildings an important role in the design for the new school.

On the site behind the existing buildings we embrace the landscape and design a building complex that is embedded in the orchards. With its slightly sloping green roofs, pergolas, semi-enclosed outdoor spaces and school gardens, the new roof landscape looks like an extension of nature.

location: Groot Bijgaarden, Dilbeek, Brussels, BE
competition: 2nd prize, Open Oproep 3202 competition
year: 2017
advisor - technical installations: JanPiet vd Weele
advisor - landscape and garden architecture: Arne Deruyter

Toermalijn Elementary School
high temporality

The ambition behind this project is based on the ideas we began to explore in the Parasite Project from the late 1990s onwards: temporary architecture and temporarily available sites deserve attention, high-quality architecture and healthy materials - particularly when we deal with educational buildings for children.

With the school Parasites project (Hoogvliet 2003, we looked into alternatives to conventional, temporary school extensions, which are unfortunately very common in the Netherlands. As a result three prototypes for high-quality, singular, temporary classroom units were designed by three different architects and given to primary schools in Hoogvliet to test.

location: Hijkerveld, Zuidwijk, Rotterdam
design: 2006
realisation: 2007
client: Dienst Jeugd Onderwijs en Samenleving, Gemeente Rotterdam
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Utrecht
contractor: Van der Hoek en Van den Donker Bouwbedrijf BV
photography: Stefan Müller, Moritz Bernoully

Elementary school with childcare
a school as many houses

For outsiders, entries for German architectural competitions display an amazing uniformity. It is almost impossible to tell whether a building is in the city or in a rural area. The vast majority of buildings are shaped like compact boxes; the façades generally consist of a rhythm of repetitive, vertical windows; the architecture is strictly modernistic and the floor plans are efficient and orthogonal.

location: Ulm Unterweiler (D)
competition: Open competition with prequalification
year: 2014
collaboration/local partner: Sanwald Architekten Steinheim am Albuch