- Location: Hasselt, Belgium
- Program: School
- Area: 8.299 m²
- Year: 2020
- Status: Realized
From Old to New
GO! Education of the Flemish Community plans to replace the existing educational and administrative infrastructure spread across Hasselt with several new projects in the near to mid future. A pivotal part of this initiative is the establishment of a new premier sports school. Designed to accommodate +/- 500 students, this school, complete with a sports hall and synthetic turf fields, will be situated on the 11th Line campus in Hasselt.
The gym’s program encompasses various facilities, from sports infrastructure and classrooms for both junior and senior students to administrative areas. The sports section boasts a large sports hall, auxiliary sports halls, a multifunctional space, and outdoor sports fields. Education at this school starts at age 12. This ambition has given birth to the largest top sports school in Flanders. The city of Hasselt has pledged support for the project and intends to utilize the sports infrastructure.
1 + 1 = 3
In the design for the new building, larger facilities are housed in a sports building, while the smaller ones find their place in an educational building. This decision stems from the distinct construction needs and the variability in extracurricular usage. These buildings are strategically positioned in relation to one another, creating a unified open space.
A canopy seamlessly connects two opposing corners, integrating the two buildings and open spaces into a cohesive unit. Each open space is marked by its unique character—a combination of a partially covered playground and lush green patches, enhancing the ambiance and providing shade.
The canopy doesn’t just demarcate the premier sports school’s perimeter but also intuitively guides students or staff to the entrances of the respective buildings, enhancing site navigation.
The sports building will accommodate changing rooms, lockers, and storage spaces, all easily accessible from the entrance on the ground floor. This layout ensures easy access via the playground and onward to the outdoor sports facilities. The smaller halls are submerged half a level, whereas the multifunctional area and primary sports hall stand half a level elevated. The multifunctional space shares its level with the primary hall, allowing for collaborative or independent use, even after school hours.
The educational building’s design ensures distinct spaces for junior and senior classes, each with its own staircase, allowing vertical separation of the two. The standard classrooms are on the lower level, while specialized ones are above. Given that specialized rooms accommodate fewer students, standard classrooms become more accessible during non-school hours. Ground floor positioning ensures easy access to administrative functions. Its layout can handle three separate “access flows”: administration, superstructure, and substructure.
Structure for a Flexible Future
The building’s anatomy consists of a central structural core enveloped by an outer structural shell, paving the way for future flexibility if classrooms need redesigning to cater to evolving teaching methodologies.
The structures utilize robust structural elements, ensuring ample mass and facilitating climate control. The outer skin is crafted from a lightweight timber frame, offering superior airtightness, soundproofing, and thermal insulation. This construction strategy also augments the usable area.