Architects: Compagnie O Architects
- Area: 3120 m²
- Year: 2016
Photographs:Tim Van De Velde
Manufacturers: Reynaers Aluminium, Artigo, Foster, Koramic
- Study Techniques: Abetec NV
- Client: AG Vespa
- Architects In Charge: Joke Vermeulen, Francis Catteeuw
- City: Antwerpen
- Country: Belgium
Text description provided by the architects. The TSS, short for Topsportschool, is a meticulous spatial translation of a specific program. The daily timetable of the elite-students and coaches is rigorously scheduled. They move like targets, in Spartan efficiency, from one goal to the next. Circulation between school and training is short, straightforward, unambiguous. No time, neither space, to waste. The school facilitates these movements, seamlessly, swift and quick.
The young athlete is focused and narcissistic. This self-centered view is enhanced by a more communicative look at the other. Challenge and comparison makes the athlete sweat. The TSS is permeated with unexpected inner views, reflective surfaces and voyeuristic spaces.
The building does not reveal its purpose, it merely exists on this awkward site, an abandoned military fortress, overgrown with greenery. A sloped concrete base emerges from the soil, self-contained and obvious, slightly superior to its surroundings, revealing hardly anything at all.
On top of this solid soil hovers a sharp-edged mirror glass surface, reflecting and deflecting the scenery into scattered views.
It seems like the base and the glasshouse are in a paradoxical confrontation at first. We rather consider it as an oxymoron, it brings together two seemingly incompatible languages within one building, creating a tension we consider interesting.