HOTEL AND CATERING SCHOOL
Brussels, Belgium 2003-
The request was to realize a new campus for the school after the division of an existing campus into two independent schools. One school inherited the identity of the campus: a clear fifty’s modern architecture in a coherent urban scheme. The other school inherited only a few of the original buildings and a series of very different buildings standing randomly in the leftovers of the surrounding landscape. The goal for the project as such becomes to design a new campus with a clear independent identity for the school, but in harmony with the existing one.
As the new building program for the school is rather modest, this identity will have to be generated by other means than merely building. On this basis we propose to create a strongly designed landscape surrounding the heterogeneous buildings. A beautiful, existing lane of oak trees becomes the spine of the new campus, connecting the different parts containing both old and new buildings.
The landscape design is based on a grid of different green areas; on the highway side a dense forested area is planted while at the old campus side a composition of gardens is made connecting with the garden of the old campus. A new entrance square, sports fields, new infrastructure, a playground and the old and new buildings become all part of the composition.
The design of the new buildings is intended to be heterogeneous. Their volume and shape is based on their individual position in the new urban configuration, as well as on their relation to the existing surroundings.
The kitchen tower contains a series of identical, stacked kitchen classes on top of different storage floors, with a bar and restaurant on the top floor. The tower is conceived as a glass volume hanging in between concrete structural cores containing all services and circulation. The kitchen tower acts as a landmark for the new campus, visible from the highway and from the city.