Architect in the spotlight: Stramien

To run a secondary school with 1650 students and 250 staff members optimally is not obvious if this group is spread across two campuses. The schoolboard and management of the Sint-Franciscus college were already dreaming of uniting the 2 campuses for some time. A total of five architectural bureaus got the chance to forward a proposal, tailor-made to the Sint-Franciscus college. The view of Stramien has clearly won our favour.

The design of Stramien creates unity and readability on the campus. To this end, the existing convent was involved in the school practice, three compact new buildings volumes were constructed, the chapel was turned into a gymnasium and the lay-out of the campus of 12,000 m² was redrawn.
Moreover, the surrounding greenery was drawn onto the site. With the acceptance of the first phase of these drastic renewals – at the beginning of January – more than 9,300 m² of the entire program will be finished.

“One of the pillars of this first phase is the compact new building in the Pater Amedeuslaan. This building offers classical classrooms on the floors but also comprises a catering with restaurant for 200 people, a theatre for 300 people and a kitchen to give cooking lessons with its own didactic. The openness to the outside characterizes the restaurant and the theatre. To this end, they are equipped with fenestrations,” quotes project architect Xavier Avontroodt (Stramien). “The new building is a combination of prefab concrete columns and beams and on-site constructed walls and fill masonry,” as project leader Patrick Vissers (Democo) continues.

A second new entity on the campus is the gymnasium. It was built between the chapel and an existing block. The new volumes are characterized by a remarkable façade with a varied colour palette. “The facade is a mix of five colours from the range of Nelissen Bricks,” explains Xavier Avontroodt. “Each colour refers to a colour in the existing building blocks. The new volumes embody history so to speak.”

Upon the advice of constructor Democo, Architectural bureau Stramien ended up with Nelissen Bricks. Xavier Avontroodt confirms that, in cooperation with the sales team of Nelissen Bricks, the aimed colour palette was obtained.  This palette was inspired by the colours of the existing buildings, yet aiming at a fresher appearance. This could only be achieved because of the possibility of Nelissen Bricks to make specific mixtures; the result is impressive!
We are now awaiting the acceptance of phase 2 of this project. We’ll keep in touch!

Source :  Limburg Bouwt and Xavier Avontroodt