Bas-relief showing the compact building volume

Collective spaces (refectory, gymnasium, multipurpose room) with large windows and direct connection to the garden

The characteristic profile of the east facade mediates between ribbon development and rural landscape

Covered playgrounds follow the same logic of sloping roofs but contrast against the brickwork of the school building

Shed typology in rural west facade

Street facade referring to neighboring building typologies

Multipurpose corridor between the kindergarten and refectory.

One of the classrooms of the primary school

Vista and interior windows between collective spaces

Ethics class on the first floor

Community School


The school as a figure along the main road

Ground floor

First floor

Longitudinal section

Cross section

We have designed a municipal nursery and primary school on a beautiful plot in Berlaar, a distinctive town within a ribbon development. The route from the church passes a host of characteristic landmarks: the convent, the farm and the rectory. All robust brick buildings with recognisable profiles. The school forms part of this natural cadence and sits comfortably within the streetscape. On the side facing the garden, where the communal areas are sited, it feels more like a country house. The plan also follows the layout of a large rural property. As in a villa, one can walk through a succession of beautiful rooms: a promenade of idiosyncratic spaces in which urban moments are contained. The school has three characteristic staircases, various roof solutions, occasional balconies, vistas and interior windows, so that every move facilitates a new insight or an unexpected encounter.

  • Design teamDirk Somers, Merijn Muller, Reinaart Vandersloten, Isabel Dedeurwaerdere, Sidse Hald, Wim Boesten, Eline Aerts & Elke Hoendervangers
  • LocationBerlaar
  • Year2011 - 2016
  • ClientAG Real Estate and the community of Berlaar
  • ProgramCommunity school with after-school childcare, music school and gym
  • PhotographyFilip Dujardin