After 10 years of preparation, planning and construction the pupils of Antwerp’s Topsport school were able to move into their brand new school buildings on 1 September.
We built a 5,600m² passive school building on the site of Fort VI Wilrijk. Compagnie O. Architects designed it as a concrete base supporting a flat disc. The concrete base houses the sports hall, judo and taekwondo halls, a fitness area and canteen. Each is entirely separate and made out of concrete. The base is 8.5m high and was deposited on-site, which was a real feat of engineering. The sports hall is the size of 2.5 basketball fields, and you could fit three entire tatamis in the judo and taekwondo area.
A school with scope
The classrooms are found behind a glass façade in the upper disc and have a central patio. The disc is made using a light steel structure measuring 50m. This passive building recovers heat from the water used in showering as well as energy from solar panels. Triple glazing limits heat loss and rainwater recycling keeps the use of drinking water to a minimum.
In the daytime 190 pupils are taught the arts of swimming, judo, taekwondo, basketball, tennis, badminton, snow sports and football. Sports clubs, federations and Antwerp University are also able to enjoy the Topsport school facilities outside school hours.