The School Campus in Peer forms a green oasis in the city of Peer, with learning, playing, sporting and recreating playing a central role. The project has been designed as a landscaped urban ensemble with a secondary school, a primary school, a sports complex and a boarding school. The buildings, of approximately 18,000 m2, are situated on a terrain of 5,5 hectares with sports fields, playgrounds and a large public park. Architecture, interior and landscape were all part of the assignment and are designed as one integral whole. The set up of the various buildings, the playgrounds and the outdoor spaces ensure a diverse play and learning landscape, where a range of activities is possible and which can be used 24/7. The campus is located in the immediate vicinity of the centre of Peer. The green central area is open to the public, making the campus a benefit for the town of Peer.
The buildings are grouped around the central green area, on the borders of the site, each with it’s own identity and own access. By doing so the park was freed from cars and parking lots, thus creating a green domain for the children, athletes and rest seekers. A continuous pergola along the two schools, which also functions as a covered playground, partitions the playgrounds of from the park and marks the boundary between the playgrounds and the public park.
The buildings have been elaborated as sculptural volumes, with big cantilevers carried by characteristic sculptural columns; giving every building it’s own expression and sturdy identity.
The ground plans of the schools are organised in a U-shape, creating more intimate patios, in direct connection to the classrooms and outdoor green spaces.
The primary and secondary schools have large common halls with big staircases that can also be used as auditorium for festivities and cultural events. The common areas for meetings, learning centres and polyvalent spaces are grouped around the hall in order to create a vivid heart of the buildings where the pupils can meet. These special spaces in the buildings are designed as expressive accents and anchor the building into the surrounding environment. Roof lights, hanging patio’s and big glass sheets ensure that daylight falls deep into the building and a diversity of views through the buildings are created. The ground floors opens up to the surroundings with functions with a more open character, like the hairdressers-class rooms and the multifunctional canteens. Green patios and playground areas are spatially integrated in the buildings.
The sports complex is sunk 1,5 meter in the ground and the landscape is “pulled” over the volume, creating a natural auditorium that can be used for outdoor performances. The sports hall is multifunctional and can be used as a whole for competitions, but can also be partitioned in three parts for daily lessons and activities. With big windows, ramps and a tribune a spatial ensemble is created for athletes and audience. Huge wooden beams make the span of 32 meters.
The materialisation and detailing are both robust and refined. A serene materialisation, with on the outside a plinth of natural stone blocks, stainless-steel coloured window frames and a lively cream colour brickwork, binds the different buildings together into a coherent urban ensemble. Sculptural columns of precast concrete are recurring elements in the designs.
In the interior, wooden accents enrich the space with a warm atmosphere. The interiors are finished with wooden panelling, oak handrails, light natural stone steps of Jurastone, white stucco and colour accents. Vestiaries, cupboard walls and locker walls have been designed integrally as an inseparable part of the buildings.
The project is part of the Flemish Governmental development ‘’Schools of Tomorrow’’, a major operation upgrading and renewing more than 200 schools in the whole country in a five-year time span. The landscape design was made in co-operation with landscape designers Bureau B + B.