Belgian architects ABDM and Dutch architects RAU have been selected over eight teams to design the new Howest College Campus in Kortrijk. A collaboration with Delva Landscape Architects, the school will act as the campus’ main building, open to all 24/7.
Auditoria, studios, offices and a library will all be centered around a large, sun-lit atrium at the building’s core. Here, shops, study, restaurant and recreation areas will be provided.
Providing a stimulating and “sustainable habitat for students” is key to the overall design. The building will be powered by renewable energy and equipped with the necessary tools for harvesting rainwater and purifying waste water.
“Sustainability is not an additional finishing touch but is integrated in the building itself,” explains ABDM. “The concept of the substructure which merges with the landscape, results in a reduced superstructure. By doing this, the area of the existing park is hardly touched. Thanks to the thermal insulation, an thermal inertia is provided by the surrounding ground layers and energy transmission through the building skin is reduced.
“At the south façade large cantilevering terraces prevent direct sun radiation, while at the north daylight entrance will be optimized. In combination with the hybrid ventilation concept based on stacking ventilation via the atrium and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, the energy use of the building for heating and cooling will be very small.
“Due to geothermal energy installations and PV-cells on the roof of the classrooms and the atrium, a nearly zero energy building will be realized by the end of 2017.”