Architect Renovation: Callebaut Architecten
Engineer Stability: Studiebureau Mouton
Engineer Mep: Istema
General Contractor: THV Jan De Nul - Van Laere
Client: Scholen Van Morgen
Text description provided by the architects. On the site for care and education Sint-Lievenspoort in Ghent a neo-gothic cloister becomes refurbished, restaured and expanded as a new school for children with conditions concerning hearing, speech and autism. The monumental complex becomes an element in a new clear pattern of circulation throughout the site.
The existing building that has lost a lot of its attractiveness throughout the years gets a fresh overhaul in which the spatial qualities get restored. There’s once again an abundance of light and air. A non-qualitative addition in the inner courtyard is being removed to make place for a green meeting room and a multifunctional space with a roofterrace on top for the children. The new additions serve to realise human scale, orientation and identity for the school. The area becomes more natural and green.
The historical hallways get renovated. Around these hallways are functional, flexible and spacious classrooms. In addition a new passage on the first and second level gets added as a double skin outside the building. This passage reinforces the visual and physical relationship between the interiors and the courtyard. The historical chapel gets reclaimed as a gym with changing rooms, an office for the gymteachers and a room for relaxation in the choir of the church.
The renovation is also unique in the sense of sustainability. The floors, windows, roofs get insulated. There’s also mechanical ventilation with a heat exchange to minimize heat losses. In terms of material-efficiency, as much of the existing materials as possible got reused in the project. Most of the sanitary water comes by way of rainwater-recuperation.