De Wijnpers Leuven, Belgium 2010–

This secondary school, set on a south east facing escarpment on the northern edge of the Belgian city of Leuven, provides pupils with a technical, vocational and artistic education. The horticultural gardens, orchards and greenhouses provide an unusually beautiful and dramatic setting for a school. Our design, which recollects industrial and agricultural buildings, takes its cue from many of the pupils’ future employment scenarios.

Image 1

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    The design weaves together a response to the remarkable situation on this south east facing hillside and ideas about greenhouses, and farm and industrial buildings found in the landscape…
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    ...this is evident in the structural expression of the sports hall (left) and teaching block (right) and the orientation of the Eerstegraadsgebouw towards the view
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    Conceptual site section and isometric, showing the building's connection to the landscape, as well as strategy for the façade
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    View from the street - the scheme combines a sports hall to be used by the whole school (left) with separate teaching facilities for the first two years at De Wijnpers (right)
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    Site and buildings masterplan
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    View from escarpment - the design is intended to be a strong endorsement of their future and a more practical way of life that depends on a wide range of skills combining mind, eye and hand, in other words craft
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    First floor plan shows gym (top) and wing of classrooms studio (beneath) with primary circulation behind a south east facing glazed wall overlooking the school's horticultural gardens
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    Internal perspective section of sports hall, ancillary spaces, classrooms and workshop, looking north east
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    Internal perspective section of Foyer (and assembly hall), looking towards music workshop, Foyer mezzanine and central stairs
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    South west and north east elevations - the sports hall, next to the street, fulfils the role of a public community building sheltering the teaching wing which enjoys the prospect of the landscape
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    There is once again a recognition that craft is vitally important and something that is often lost in a capitalist, consumer and academic context…
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    …craft underpins a wide range of vocations including that of an artist, a musician, a surgeon, a plumber, a joiner, a horticulturalist, a viticulturalist, of course the list goes on


  • Area: 3695m2
  • Budget: €4.7m
  • Client: De Wijnpers; Province of Vlaams Brabant
  • Final Six: Competition
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