The project is situated in one of the Industrial Heritage buildings of Beringen-Mine. Part of the largest industrial heritage site in Flanders, the former bathing halls has been converted into a nursery and an elementary school with after-school care.
The establishment of these schools at the former mine site helps to make it a part of the social and cultural fabric of the region.
The current focus lies on the tourist-recreational components which are be linked to the urban functions such as living, working, shopping and education.
This new school adds a new layer and creates synergy with the recreational and educational elements already present.
Moreover, it gives a protected monument a new purpose and brings children and young people into contact with the historical heritage.
In the design for the reconversion of the former bathing halls, the team based on a maximum expression of the existing building.
Spatially and physically, connections are made within the existing building. An intelligent growth scenario is proposed for both the school and the exterior.
The outdoor part of the site, located between the future school building, the coal laundry and the diving center, will be partially designed as outdoor play space for the school.
Tracks and other historical fixtures currently present will be preserved. The demarcation of the play area is determined by the route of the new bicycle path.
This path, coming from the center of Beringen-Mine, is slightly curved to connect with the covered area under the former coal laundry.
The construction of the outdoor environment, the demarcation of the school grounds and the playground equipment fits within the Visual Quality Plan, commissioned by BE-MINE. Maximum efforts were made to strengthen the relationships between the building and its surroundings. A playful, stimulating environment was designed both in the school and in the 'trace park' that is used as a playground.
At Straf!, there is a strong focus on 'living learning'. The outdoor space is set up as a creative, adventurous playground. In this way, children learn
discover plants and animals in a playful manner. The building, which is part of the former mine site, has an enormous heritage value. The proposal for the renovation retains the existing facades and all the additions are placed in a restrained manner. In close consultation with the Agency Immovable Heritage, we designed the layout of the outside area.