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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. "

Vonck cree también que las placas realzan la arquitectura de los edificios. "Tienen un acabado cristalino que, dependiendo del ángulo visual y de la luz del sol, ejerce un efecto sorprendente en la percepción del color. Esta característica de las placas armoniza a la perfección con los jardines que rodean los círculos, que también cambian de color con el paso de las estaciones." Las placas Rockpanel Chameleon se han utilizado también para los letreros y la señalización que hay alrededor de la escuela. Como se trata de un producto resistente a la intemperie y a la humedad, tras el grabado, no fue necesario realizar ningún tratamiento especial, ni tan siquiera en las placas de base que quedan a la vista. Thierry Laroy, de la empresa constructora CFE Brabant, también ha destacado lo fácil que fue trabajar con estas placas: "Aunque no tenía experiencia previa con ellas, la instalación no ha supuesto ningún problema."

El resultado es un complejo de edificios de gran belleza en el que, además de Rockpanel Chameleon, también se ha utilizado Rockpanel Natural y Rockpanel Colours. Incluso antes de la inauguración, el proyecto provocó algunas reacciones muy positivas. "La administración local y otras administraciones escolares están entusiasmadas, hay un gran interés mediático y los vecinos del barrio se detienen frente a la escuela para contemplar los mágicos cambios de color. Personalmente creo que ha sido un éxito rotundo. La estética, el enfoque sostenible y la elección de los materiales se combinan y refuerzan entre sí para obtener el resultado ideal".

New build of the Les Trèfles primary school in Anderlecht, Belgium with Rockpanel Natural & Rockpanel Chameleon exterior cladding. Les Trefles
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