Compagnie-O architects


- Antwerp - Belgium

One could expect the overall architectural image of a national “top-sports-school” (in short TSS) to be at least prominent and sublime; a stage, a trophy, glorifying extraordinary physical achievements.
This not what the TSS is about. The TSS has no image, it creates image: the school is an incubator, a ‘machine à exceller’.

The TSS is a meticulous spatial translation of a specific program.
The daily time-table of the elite-students and coaches is rigorously scheduled. They move like targets, in Spartan efficiency, from one goal to the next. Circulation between school and training is short, straightforward, unambiguous. No time, neither space, to waste. The school facilitates these movements, seamless, swift and quick.

The young athlete is focused and narcissistic. This self-centered view is enhanced by a more
communicative look at the other. Challenge and comparison makes the athlete sweat.
The TSS is permeated with unexpected inner views, reflective surfaces and voyeuristic places.
The TSS has no image:
The building does not reveal its purpose, it merely exists on this awkward site, an abandoned military fortress, overgrown with greenery.
A sloped concrete base emerges from the soil, self-contained and obvious, slightly superior to its
surroundings, revealing hardly anything at all.
On top of this solid soil hovers a sharp-edged mirrorglass plate, reflecting and deflecting the scenery into squattered views.
The athlete continues his training of perfection, focused and undisturbed.
(It seems base and glasshouse are paradoxical at first. We rather consider it as an oxymoron, it
brings together two seemingly incompatible languages within one building, creating a tension we consider interesting. )

project : Topsportschool Antwerpen - Stedelijk Leonardo Lyceum
architect: Compagnie-O architects
location: Fort VI, Wilrijk / Antwerp - Edegemsesteenweg 100, 2610 Antwerp (Wilrijk)
building area: footprint building = 3120 m2
surface: 6285m2 + 540m2 patio
start of building: 5 February 2014
date of completion: 1 September 2016
client: AG Vespa (AG SO Antwerp – culture, sports and youth Antwerp)
study stability: Util Struktuurstudies CVBA
study techniques: Abetec NV
study PEB: Abetec NV
technical partner: Seco
budget: 9.020.198,00 eur excl. VAT and fees
website architect:
all photos: © Tim Van De Velde/ Bart Gosselin
General contractor: Democo NV
Carpentry: Aluminium windows – Reynaers / Steel windows – Foster
Electricity: Lighting Halla (type Deli and Saza) / Switches – Niko
Heating: Ventilation – Menerga / Pumps – Grundfos / CV installation – Remeha / Airco – Daikin
Interior: Rubber floors – Artigo + Objectflor / Tiles – Mosa
Green glazed tiles: Koramic
Lockers: Eurobox
Mobile walls: FDS
Sanitary walls: Alpaco

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