The new primary school in the Belgian city of Anderlecht perfectly combines educational innovation, sustainable design and attractive architecture. Its extraordinary design, the work of the Árter architecture studio in Brussels, was selected to participate in the contest "Bâtiments exemplaires 2012" organized by the public body Bruxelles Environnement (IBGE / BIM).
The school, which welcomes 750 students between 4 and 12 years old, is formed by four circles, partially overlapping and connected by means of wide access ramps, and an adjoining gymnasium. In the three largest circles are the classrooms of the school, located on the outer perimeter. Each circle also has its own circular patio in the center. In a fourth building, also circular and two stories high, are the entrance, technical areas and the school's goal.
The architecture studio Árter was inspired by the name of the neighborhood, Les Trèfles (Los Tréboles), and the studies of the Japanese architect Mitsuru Senda when designing this unique school. "Senda has shown that circular recreation areas favor spontaneous movement, which increases by up to 20%," says architect Patrick Vonck. "In addition, the circles have a 20% less façade for the same area, which allowed me to literally break the standard school structure with a closed hall and use the surface that the hall would occupy to expand the recreational area."
In addition to having a very creative design, the school designed by Árter is highly sustainable. With an energy consumption of only 12 kWh / m2 per year, its performance is equivalent to that of a building that meets the Passivhaus standard. To achieve this, techniques have been used such as heat recovery, the use of natural light, a quadruple glazing with built-in sun protection, green roofs and a rainwater recycling system. The environmental impact of its complete life cycle has also been taken into account for the choice of construction materials. The use of ROCKFON for acoustic ceilings in the classroom perfectly meets this requirement.
To coat the façade, Vonck opted, among other products, for the Rockpanel Chameleon plates. The cladding was fixed directly to respect the simplicity and neatness of the design. "I was pleasantly surprised to be able to prescribe a product that would enhance the aesthetics of the school and also have the A + rating of the Green Guide.For the design of buildings with very low consumption, it is necessary to choose meticulously the materials that are used. It is important to be able to count on manufacturers that carry out the corresponding tests, have the necessary certificates of performance and provide on-site assistance. "