Taking its cue from Thomas More’s acclaimed book “Utopia”, first printed by prominent Aalst citizen Dirk Martens, the new building has been slotted into the urban fabric to enhance the characteristic irregular streets and intimate spaces of the city center, and to interact with them. Three new squares have been created alongside Esplanadestraat, Graanmarkt and Peperstraat. The so-called Pupillenschool, a building from 1880 was formerly a school where children of soldiers were educated until the age of 16 when they could register for a regiment. It has been embedded into KAAN Architecten’s design and is now the cornerstone of the new building. Both outside and inside, the historic façades blend perfectly with the generous spaces, while the brickwork dialogues with light gray concrete elements.
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