Just outside the village center of Westmalle, Kindergarten Eikendreef lies surrounded by a green forest. The old school needed a new refectory and a thorough renovation of the classrooms.
The inside of the monumental school building was completely renewed, while the exterior only got the necessary makeover. At the back, along the green zone, a new glass canopy provides indoor play space. The new refectory, together with extra sanitary facilities and a consultation room, was placed in a rectangular volume on the north side of the building. This flat box, covered with dark wooden planks, nestles elegantly between the trees and creates a connection to the old building.
The ambition of this project was to obtain a contemporary school building, without detracting from its characteristic appearance and to respond to the wooded environment.
The challenge was to create a space that could be used as a sports hall, party room, indoor playroom, but also be suitable for more formal activities such as an evening performance or reception.
The white, acoustic ceiling and the lateral frame were executed with flowing lines to give the room a sense of elegance and to accentuate the stage in front. Slatted timber walls enclose the technical functions and a closet over the entire width which ensures sufficient storage space.
Both direct and indirect lighting, together with the high windows, create different atmospheres.
With a few minimal adjustments to the interior, the room was transformed into a multipurpose space, maintaining a warm and stylish space.
The renovation of the classrooms located in the old school buildings included a makeover of the tiles which characterized the interior. In combination with wooden detailing, a more subtle color palette with softer hue tones was used to create a calming atmosphere.