Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Media en Design Academie (MAD), KHLim, Genk, Belgium

Exemplary design categories: access, cultural and historical value, vocational facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The design of this campus, which provides higher education courses in the audiovisual and plastic arts and in product design, seeks to stimulate and support creativity in innovation. A central feature of the new building is the “study landscape”, a vast space in the core of the building for meetings, interactions, experiments, social contacts and exchanges of ideas between all students and teachers. The space contains nine open plan classrooms, open studios as well as circulation zones. Circulation zones not only encourage exchange and interaction between different disciplines, it increases the building’s flexibility and achieves savings in terms of surface area and budget. The building’s façades are covered with black foam glass and perforated plates of galvanized steel that act as sunshades and as mechanical protection for the underlying insulation. By arranging the plates randomly and with a certain amount of overlap, the façade’s surface has a scaled texture. This striking translucent skin resembles lace, and looks subtle and delicate. It maintains a dialogue with the historical steel winding shafts of the coal mine, and reflects the industrial character of the buildings on the mine site. It also references the microscopic structure of coal and the colour of miners’ headgear. The glazed parts of the study landscape enable this spatially binding central element of the academy to be expressed on the exterior of the building. In keeping with its context, the interior of the building also has elements of industrial architectural language. The concrete structure and all the mechanical and technical infrastructure are open rather than hidden away.

Activity Areas: public passage; library; classrooms; a interactive study landscape; workshops for art, design, video, photography and product design; sound and movie studios; offices; mechanical workshops for prototype manufacturing; computer classes; student facilities

Project costs: EUR 6,700,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"

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cross section (Registration required)
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elevation (Registration required)
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floor & site plans & cross section (Registration required)
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interior (Registration required)
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