Project name
Project data

De Molen primary school
renovation and expansion of two schools

The historical images of the impressive school complex on Onderwijzersstraat evoke different emotions: nostalgia, respect, admiration, but also some aversion. The pupils of that time must have felt very small. The elongated schools grandeur is awe-inspiring yet equally intimidating.

Todays perception of education and the associated spaces is much different than 100 years ago. A contemporary school must be an inspiring learning and living environment that presents itself to its surroundings with an open face, not a walled fortress. Yet in our opinion the strict school has timeless, spatial and architectural qualities that make it suitable for a meaningful transformation. Even without extensive changes, De Molen can become a school that does justice to its past and at the same time complies much better than before with current educational views. The large playgrounds and gardens play an important role in this.

In our proposal, the generous, clear and symmetrical layout serves as the starting point for a contemporary school that accommodates different forms of education.

Molen Street Gate
location:Hoboken, Antwerp
status:competition, 1st price
illustrations:Rotraut Susanne Berner

mixed-use building Lebeau-Sablon
unity in diversity

During the course of the 20th century the culture of the apartment in Brussels has been developed into an art form.
The city has made an effort to make living in urban apartments attractive and culturally acceptable. With our project we refer to the rich history of housing Brussels seems to offer, both explicitly and subliminally. At the same time we acknowledge the need for breathing space felt by many people living in a city like Brussels. For that reason we have designed a block with an urban face and an intensely planted green interior court. A contemporary lifestyle with sufficient privacy, in close vicinity to nature and the buzzing diversity of the inner city are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary!

Lebeau Gerechtsplein
location:Brussel BE
status:competition design, 1st prize
in collaboration with:MaccreanorLavington: MLA+

youth facility Everaertsstraat Antwerp
youthful backyard

How do we transform a narrow and fully built courtyard in a densely populated neighbourhood into a green and inspiring learning and living environment? How do we build a school on such a location that feels like a home to children and young people from totally different backgrounds? And how do we ensure that both indoor and outdoor spaces are generous, sturdy and light enough to stimulate appropriation and initiative?

Municipal Education Antwerp urgently needs additional school capacity in its inner city districts. The municipality therefore organised an invited competition for a combined school for young children and spaces for youth groups in Antwerp North making use of an existing property. Having won the competition we will transform a number of existing buildings, including a former factory building into a spacious multifunctional facility for the youth. On the adjacent eastern part of the site we replace several structures of lesser quality with a new playground, a new gym and purpose built classrooms for the youngest and oldest children of the new school community.

Everaert Collage Uit Pergola
location:Antwerp BE
status:competition design, 1st prize
installation and sustainability advisor:JanPiet vd Weele
illustrations:Rotraut Susanne Berner

Kruishoutem Care Centre
square, church and courtyard

The site for the new care campus in Kruishoutem is an exceptionally beautiful place with a long history. The new building replaces the wings of a neo-Gothic monastery, while the church is preserved. The existing park with monumental trees will be part of the new building complex. The project offers the opportunity to make the specific qualities of the site visible and accessible to the village community.

The program consists of residential care rooms, assisted living units and service flats, and it is almost four times larger than the original building. The vast volume needs to relate to the adjoining, graceful church.

Kruishoutem Church Square
status:Open Oproep, competition design, laureaat

Don Bosco Elementary School
learning from nature

The new school site is a children's paradise before we even start. It's vast and green, there are fields, orchards, a broad valley, water, wilderness, groves, endless possibilities to play. 

The strong brick architecture of the Salesians gives the place character and spatial identity. The venerable buildings anchor the new development to the village, the history and the meaning of the place. We would therefore like to give these buildings an important role in the design for the new school.

On the site behind the existing buildings we embrace the landscape and design a building complex that is embedded in the orchards. With its slightly sloping green roofs, pergolas, semi-enclosed outdoor spaces and school gardens, the new roof landscape looks like an extension of nature.

Bosco Collage Entrance Old
location:Groot Bijgaarden, Dilbeek, Brussels, BE
competition:2nd prize, Open Oproep 3202 competition
advisor - technical installations:JanPiet vd Weele
advisor - landscape and garden architecture:Arne Deruyter

spatial manuscript

Vedute is a non-profit organisation collecting 'spatial manuscripts', personal and three-dimensional mission statements. Every year a selected number of artists, designers and architects are invited to contribute to the collection, answering a more or less abstract question formulated by the Vedute board. The sizes of the objects have been fixed to the exact dimension of the States Bible of the Netherlands, 7 x 32 x 44 cm. In 2009 we had the honour of making and publicly presenting our object, thinking about our vision of space and landscape.

Vedute Candle Front
client:Stichting Vedute

Elementary school with childcare
a school as many houses

For outsiders, entries for German architectural competitions display an amazing uniformity. It is almost impossible to tell whether a building is in the city or in a rural area. The vast majority of buildings are shaped like compact boxes; the façades generally consist of a rhythm of repetitive, vertical windows; the architecture is strictly modernistic and the floor plans are efficient and orthogonal.

Ulm Model Wood
location:Ulm Unterweiler (D)
competition:Open competition with prequalification
collaboration/local partner:Sanwald Architekten Steinheim am Albuch

Temporary shopping center Strijp S
chess in Eindhoven

The area Strijp S, a wide plot between two colossal former industrial buildings, will in the future be developed as a mixed-use residential area with shops. The urban master plan proposes two large square-shaped building sites with small-scale, kasbah-like buildings with large parking garages underneath.

Strijp Model Chess
location:Strijp S, Eindhoven
client:Woningcorporatie Trudo

Oostvaarderse plassen Visitors Centre
railway dike with a view

A little walk in the Oostvaardersveld on a Saturday afternoon: a fox, a snake, birds, insects, butterflies, flowers. Small-scale nature with a rather un-Dutch variety. Yet something is missing. We hardly realise where we are. Behind the high railway embankment, nature seems inaccessible.
Of course the design location for a new visitors centre is beautiful in itself, but we also have our doubts about it. We prefer not to add more man-made things to the area. And preferably as little paving as possible. Even the paths and roads that cross the area now feel like disturbing interruptions in the fragile landscape, as well as the small buildings, streets and cars.

Oostvaarders Montage
advisor - landscape:Matthieu Derckx

'Art and science of dementia care' - interdisciplinary research project
gardening together

1:1 experiment in care centre 'de Diem' in Diemen, Amsterdam. A care centre opens the door of its garden to its neighbour, a primary school. A previously closed garden becomes a school garden for all generations.

0000 Presentatie Diemen Met Marlous
interdisciplinary research project:organised by The Netherlands Fund for Creative Industries
supervisors:Henri Snel, Caro van Dijk
location:De Diem, Diemen, Amsterdam