The primary school Mercator in Rupelmonde (Belgium) has been selected by ‘Schools of Tomorrow’, due to the bad situation in case of maintenance, the spatial bottlenecks and the functional unsuitability, so that they will be able to use their new school building around 2016. CroonenBuro5 has designed the building.
The school is situated along a main street and is truly part of the daily life in Rupelmonde. The narrow and busy street G. de Cremerstraat is well known for the linear structure. There are in particular houses consisting of two floors and a gabled roof. The area of the school makes an opening in the linear structure of the main street and is with its green, light and air an important component in the surrounding area.
The design of the building formed an integral process together with the design for the outdoor area of the school. Different zones were created for the outdoor area of the school, whereby the different traffic flows could be separated. This contributes to a safe and comfortable feeling in the arrival area.
The design plays with the differences in heights and terraces, which creates different spaces all with their own identity and perception. The playgrounds for the little kids and the students of the primary school are situated in a higher position than the level of the main street and are surrounded with a small wall of lay bricks. The small wall disconnects the playground with the public space, but preserves the visual contact with the street. In this way the school stays part of the public space and doesn’t disconnect from the civil society.