Kindergarten ‘’t Kofschip’
In the municipality of Edegem, at a green site close to Antwerpen, ‘’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 (trees) is respected. 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 and the second floor, which 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 two circular outside spaces, together with the veranda, make up an enclosed outside space carved out in the green. The edges of these playgrounds are not only made up of the green talud, but by playful seating elements as well.
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.
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. The required hight of the polyvalent hall creates a high curb that hides the installations that are placed on the roof from sight.