Today, 340 young Brussels residents go to nursery and primary school at De Drombom Primary School on Wittouckstraat in Laeken. The new campus in Drumboom will provide space for an additional 332 students. In addition to the kindergarten and primary school, there will also be a school for teenagers, a form of education for students between the ages of 10 and 14. This provides a four-year transition period between primary and secondary education.
In collaboration with the Bouwmeester team, the City of Brussels organized an architectural competition in 2020 to select the design team. An open jury, which also included teachers and administration of both the school and the Art Academy, evaluated the applications. The team of Radar Architects, Petillon Ceuppens and Atelier Arne Deruyter was finally selected to design the project.
The impressive forecourt on Wittouckstraat with existing tall trees forms the basis of the design. This front yard becomes the face and entrance of the school and forms the link between the school and the outside world, a meeting space where parents can come down quietly and wait for their children, and a space that students and neighborhood residents can benefit from. Adventure play is encouraged and nature and sustainable materials are key.
The open character is reflected not only in the design, but also in the functionality of the building. In addition to the school, the Drumboom Campus will also serve as the home base for the Arts Academy and local residents will be able to use the sports infrastructure.
Aside from gas
Due to the condition and energy efficiency of the existing buildings (part of the school is housed in pavilions from Expo ’58), new construction was chosen. As many materials as possible from the existing buildings will be reused in the future campus where sustainability is key.
De Droomboom School will be the first school in the city of Brussels to be completely degassed. Heating is entirely done by geothermal geothermal heat pumps. 2,100 square meters of the roof will be equipped with solar panels and 1,043 square meters will be used as a green roof or roof gardens. 61% of the outdoor space has been mitigated so that rainwater can seep off and other rainwater will be recovered in the building itself.
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