Primary school ‘de Zandloper’
Primary school ‘de Zandloper’ is situated in the rural surroundings of Zomergem, close to Gent, Belgium. The threefold arched volume joins the village street by respecting the small scale of the surrounding fabric. At the same time, the building leaves the view towards the stunning green domain behind it intact. By means of a large veranda with benches on which the (main) entrances of the school are situated, the building is explicitly oriented towards the sun. The kindergarten classrooms on the ground floor are centred around a playing hall and close to the canteen and gymnasium. These can be used separately by the neighbourhood and provide exposure towards the street with their large windows.
A large grandstand, which simultaneously functions as a covered playground, connects the first floor classrooms of the primary school to the ground level and forms an open-air theater on the beautifully green playgrounds.
It is this form of double use that characterises the building. Clear logistics and a flexible column structure in concrete and wood provide flexibility in the layout. The high, arched roofs with skylights generate light and a spatiality that is amplified by the mezzanine floors. The arches are made up of light masonry and aluminum window frames. The deep nags and clever sun shading system that is connected at a lower point on the windowframes, provide simultaneously for light admittance, sun protection and ventilation.