De Zwaantjes primary school Hoboken
Primary school with 10 classes for 250 pupils
design outdoor space
études stabilité, techniques, acoustique et PEB
META designed the De Zwaantjes primary school in Hoboken for AG Vespa and AG Stedelijk Onderwijs Antwerpen [the city council’s education department]. The specific shape of the plot and the new residential development on the adjoining site helped determine the choice of an L-shaped school building. This resulted in a volume that completes the building block and takes account of the future road that will link Krugerstraat to Zeelandstraat.
Along this new future road, a façade with different entrances was designed: the first leads to the cycle shed and the refectory, the second to the playground, and the third to the entrance of the school. The functions in the volume are logically clustered and linked. The offices on the ground floor give a view of the entrance and are easily accessible for pupils, parents and visitors alike. To limit the number of floor levels for the youngest pupils and to provide direct access for the pre-schoolers to the outdoor area, the kindergarten classrooms are also on level 0.
On level +1, all the primary school classrooms are linked as a succession of identical rooms. They are all connected by an L-shaped circulation area that can also be used as an additional space for various activities. The glass wall creates a direct relationship with the playground.
Separated from the rest of the school by a tunnel is the lunch area: a double-height space with a mezzanine level that provides access to the outdoor classroom. The partition allows the lunch area to be used in multiple ways, such as for after-school activities and those organised by third parties.
The repetition of façade modules made of concrete, brick and aluminium joinery gives form to the façade. The horizontal elements, both on the plinth (at first-floor level) and on the cornice, determine the scale of the façade design. All materials are kept tone-on-tone in a brownish-red hue.
All outdoor spaces, designed by Landinzicht Landschapsarchitecten, assume the maximum amount of greening. Hard surfaces are only provided for specific play areas and the compulsory fire engine access routes. The variable palette of materials ensures that the zoning in the area is not pronounced, but is nevertheless present.