Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Renovating a former school as community centre in Woesten, Belgium by atelier tom vanhee
March 15th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: atelier tom vanhee
The building is accessible by a central binding public domain, the playground of the former school (built in the 19th century). By opening some windows further down we reinforce the relationship between interior spaces and this square. By doing the same at the other site of the building, the back area is activated as a green semi-public space linked with the meeting hall. The closed functions, the storeroom, the technical areas and the sanitary facilities are grouped in a partially extended volume. It is a rejuvenation of the building, where the recent sanitair extension gave rise to.
This slider movement brings light in the heart of the meeting centre and gives more space at the central entrance hall. Internal windows overlook this hall and spread the light into the adjacent spaces. The other rooms have an open character, and can be used fully for the activities of the meeting centre : kitchen, meeting room, meeting hall, drawing Academy, concerts,…. The attic is elaborated for what is needed to use the building today. Further inside extension is still possible in the future.
Materials are choosen by the score at their circle of life analysis. The used wood is FSC-labelled : the structure of the extension (floors, walls and roof), the structure of the light interior walls, the windows, the façade coping and its structure, extra wooden bars for floors and for fixating, isolation. We used fibre boards for the interior walls, Celit and OSB for the extension. The toilets are supplied with recycled rain water.
The lights are energy efficient. The heating system recuperates the heat of the evacuating gases. The ventilation system recuperates the heat of the dirty removed air. We took care of better isolation : we changed all windows in high isolating glass, the roofs, floors and new walls are isolated.
By the renovation, the building gets back a central role in the community It brings the public return the local authority was looking for.
Contact atelier tom vanhee