A building is many things. But there is something which distinguishes some buildings from others. These are the ones which have their own certain “character”, their own essence. We can think of the school as a huge workshop, where manual work takes on its own significance, spaces devised like an artist’s workspace, a design studio or a cabinet maker’s workshop. That “character” must be present. It must be the building itself. Each area needs to be functionally different, but students must also be familiar with all the activities taking place, and understand what is going on in each workshop. They need to feel part of the whole school, not only their own specialist area. We wanted to achieve the maximum visual openness possible, as a key part of the learning and training process. The building, situated within a block of residential buildings, adopts the geometrical shape of its location. A lower section on one floor follows the shape of the property. Above this there is a section of the building containing the entrance, main foyer and conference room, with an orthogonal footprint. Its outward appearance expresses place, and new order. The ground floor acts as a base, built in black clinker brickwork, while the upper section of the building is the shape of a box, in a deep blue shade. The lower floor houses the workshops and the upper floor the theory classrooms. Both the two sections and their respective uses overlap.
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