The Gallait terrain was chosen as the site for developing a shared campus for several Dutch speaking primary and secondary schools in the Brussels Capital Region. The Gallait terrain is situated in a closed building block between the Gallait Street and Vanderlinden Street in Schaarbeek, Brussels. The competition, organised according to a design & build procedure, invited participating consortia to explore the opportunity of acquiring adjacent terrains on top of the school properties on site, in order to be able to develop a functional school campus. As such, the bid prepared by this consortium involves two inner areas within the building block, which are being linked together by transforming a former depot building and a party room and making these structures the hinge between the two inner areas. The site becomes a campus for a community school [brede school]. This means that the campus becomes the site for community interaction by facilitating multiple use of spaces, especially after school hours. In the first place, commonality is facilitated in the outdoor spaces of the campus which is created by organising the campus in separate built volumes. These are diverse and accessible, they invite people to meet up, to relax and to explore. During a day, outdoor spaces may be demarcated and appropriated temporarily for educational purposes, while after school hours, the spaces may be transferred to actors from the neighbourhood to facilitate informal public use and community activities. Working with height differences, playful elements and plantings, the design invites adventurous play and physical movement. Educational spaces are organised around the terraces and as part of the roof gardens. Thus, the community school makes the world of children accessible to the neighbourhood. Reversely, the outside world enters into the classroom to broaden the perspectives of children. In the interconnected building volumes, diverse sorts of spaces are organised, so that the infrastructure may cater to activities beyond those of a traditional school day. There are spaces for meeting, reception, for deliberation and participation, for co-creation, for healthcare, day care and student support. Special attention goes out to extending and transforming the traditional class rooms, which become instruction rooms organised around open learning platforms. Buildings and outdoor spaces all have their own functionality an spatial logic, making them potentially independent, ensuring flexibility in the face of changing requirements in the future.
a2o & OSK-AR architecten