Aires Mateus to design architecture school
with a house-shaped entrance

| 5 comments
 

News: Portuguese brothers Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus have won a competition to design a new school of architecture in the Belgian city of Tournai, with plans for a complex featuring a house-shaped entrance void.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

Lisbon-based Aires Mateus saw off competition from Belgian studio Robbrecht & Daem and French firm Lacaton & Vassal to win the commission to create a 7000-square-metre architecture faculty for 600 students at the Catholic University of Louvain.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

Located within the city's historic quarter, the project will involve renovating an eighteenth-century hospital to accommodate administrative services as well as converting two industrial buildings to create space for classrooms and a library.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

The architects also plan to demolish some existing buildings, making room for a tree-lined courtyard and a new structure that will serve as the spine of the complex.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

Weaving between the renovated blocks, the new building will link different departments and provide a distinctive entrance. According to the architects, it will make contact with the existing brick volumes in as few places as possible.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus

"The design evokes the existing iconography in the architectural heritage of Tournai," said the architects.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus
Axonometric diagram - click for larger image

"Its geometry causes various urban plazas and produces a large interior space which will house all academic activities, as well as establishing a close collaboration with the community," they added.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus
Sections one and two - click for larger image

Work is set to begin on the project later this year and students are expected to start occupying the facility in 2015.

School of Architecture, Tournai by Aires Mateus
Sections three, four and five - click for larger image
  • Paul1234

    What happens to the space in the building above the void? Does it have a sloping floor?

    • Thinh Pham

      I have the same question as you. Can we see how that space is used?

  • alex

    The space above the ‘house shape’ completely blocks the window to the side, all for the sake of a one-liner.

  • rUIpEDRO

    I don’t get it… they totally avoid any relation to the existing buildings, and they didn’t do it right.

  • chris

    Bellissimo!