Kindergarten ‘’t Kofschip’ in Edegem: veranda-school with exterior theater
In the municipality of Edegem‘’t Kofschip’ is situated: a combined school complex housing a kindergarten and primary school. The kindergarten is situated in such a way that an optimal orientation for the classrooms is secured and the existing greenery is respected. At the same, time the building demarcates the site in a natural way. The first floor lies several treads below ground level, which gives the building a small-scale attractiveness and, moreover, intensifies the relationship between the ground level and the second floor that contains two kindergarten classrooms and a polyvalent hall. A grandstand orientates the spaces on the second floor towards the playing field. The six classrooms on the ground floor are connected to a circular playground that lies at the same lowered level. An intimate surrounding veranda forms a shelter from the sun, intensifies the relationship between inside and outside and acts as a covered playground. The edges of the playgrounds are not only made up of the green talud, but by playful seating elements as well. The aesthetics of the colorful interior can easily compete in with the interesting exteriors.
Durable qualities of the building: compact, flexible, expressive
The compact school building has a clear and flexible structural system of prefabricated concrete columns that secure the multi-functionality of the building. The large thermal mass of concrete accumulates the heat produced by the children. By folding the facade into a louver, a sculptural building that doesn’t have a back side is created by simple means. This building responds to the traits of the surrounding constructions in typology and materialization. Both at the street and the playground side, the louver expressively folds over the building entrances. From the street side, the building is accessed through an inviting double-height hall that connects to the clear routing within the school. Both entrances are connected to a structuring, paved axis that binds together the ‘patchwork’ of the new, temporary and existing structures, enhancing the campus feeling. Through a prominent stairwell, that can additionally act as a grandstand, the first floor is also linked to this axis. By means of this stairwell, the polyvalent hall can be used separately outside school hours.