School of architecture

School of architecture

The bachelor thesis project consisted of the design and redefinition of a school of architecture. Divided in four stages, in the first we were asked the formation of a clear structure as the backbone for both the project and the design process. Program would only be revealed in the end, after being gone through the design of facade and the implementation into its context.

The contemporary urban landscape grows indefinitely, creating poly-centricity. In the structure of the building this phenomenon is translated in the form of load-bearing cores—in which plumbing and circulation—carrying large span waffle slabs. This way, an open plan is created that both offers flexibility and multi-functionality. The lack of load-bearing façades gives the structure a lightweight and floating appearance. This is accentuated in the cladding through the application of translucent polycarbonate. The building occupies an entire plot in the northern part of Antwerp. A huge patio in the middle is created to maximize daylighting in the building, incorporating the language of surrounding courtyard blocks. In the southeast corner, the building opens up as an entrance to create a link between the dockside and the patio.

Fig. 1 & 2
Floor plans of level 1 & 3.

 

Fig. 3
Rendering of the design of the school of architecture within its context in northern Antwerp.

Fig. 4
Conceptual diagrams explaining process and design decisions.

The school is laid down as a carpet over a sports hall through which a rising landscape emerges in and around the patio. This rising landscape ends on the second level where i.e. the restaurant, exposition space and library are located. From this level, the building is, both in cladding and in program, divided into two parts: A heavy plinth—clad in brick so to integrate with the buildings in the area—containing administration, sports hall and small auditoriums. The upper part of the building, clad in lightweight polycarbonate panelling, containing the design-related functions. The translucency of the façade reflects the for the outsider unfamiliar activity that is exerted by the students.

Fig. 5
Axonometric drawing.