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PIVA

School extension

Antwerpen, Belgium
2011-2014, built
Provincie Antwerpen
a2o-architecten + OA Peter Jannes
2.853 m2

 

Day school PIVA wants to replace the outdated guest restaurant ‘Hof Van Leysen’ with a new building. Because of the rapidly increasing number of students, the accommodation for the hotel, baking and fashion departments of PCVOA (adult education) must also be extended. Lastly, PCVOA wants to centralise all of its administrative services in the new building.
In its project definition, management has stated that the aim should be high-quality architecture that creates a building with a unique identity and a clearly recognisable function, the institute's face both towards its visitors and the public domain

In order to restrict the new building's footprint, the idea is to house the requested functions (PIVA guest restaurant and PCVOA extension) in a single building volume. The building volume will be set up in such a way that - together with the existing buildings and the landscape architecture - it defines a central forecourt. Within the very strict framework of functional and extended specifications, the emphasis is on the recognisability of the various functions and their interaction with the public domain.

The ground floor presents itself as a glazed plinth, housing the guest restaurant and reception area. The reception area is directed towards the forecourt and is opened up on this side. The adjacent guest restaurant is oriented towards a newly designed, more enclosed garden, which guarantees the guests’ privacy.

The extension of PCVOA is located on levels 1, 2 and 3, and is also accessible from the central forecourt. A dominant staircase along the forecourt façade leads students and visitors to the adult education zone.

The structure has been conceived as a repetitive concrete skeleton. This skeleton structure can clearly be seen inside. The skeleton allows for a flexible layout inside the building, providing opportunities for future adaptations to new purposes without the need to change the basic structure of the building.

The supporting skeleton is repeated in the façades and is a determining factor for the building's appearance. Depending on the function and the needs of the rooms behind it, the skeleton is clad with windows or wooden panels. On the first floor, the basic volume is ‘embraced’ by a corbelled structure, clad with vertical wooden slats. This slat structure serves as a ‘binding agent’ between the widely divergent functions located on this floor.

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