The elite school in Wilrijk is one of three main sports schools in the region. It offers 20 hours a week of regular education. On top of that, each student trains 12 hours a week in his/her preferred discipline. The students are carefully selected by sport federations and to attend you must be named as a top young athlete. The focus lies on swimming, judo, tennis and hockey, although other sports are also offered.
The site was chosen because of the excellent surrounding infrastructure; an ice hockey field, a swimming pool, sports halls and tennis courts are all located nearby. It is not only the students who benefit from the facilities; the school’s facilities are also open outside school hours to local sports groups – so the whole region benefits.
A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
The Top Sports School stands for openness and community. Its open character is mirrored in the architecture itself. There are long corridors and both reflective and transparent surfaces that let people observe and be observed. The sculptured concrete base with sports facilities gives the building spatial autonomy within a natural context. On top of the concrete base sits the school complex like an educational “hub” on the top floor.
GLAZED TILES TURN A CORRIDOR INTO A PIECE OF ART
The plain tiles draw the green of the outside inwards. The two shades of green glazing turn a generally charmless players’ corridor into a vibrant area. The structure, colour, tactility and reflection create a wall of scales, in strong contrast to the skin-like pink colour of the adjacent changing rooms. The school ensures that young sporting hopefuls can develop their talents in the best environment – details like the vibrant green tiles ensure that the surrounding stays beautiful too.
Facts & Figures
Project nameTop Sports School, Wilrijk / Antwerp, Belgium
ArchitectCompagnie-O architects, Joke Vermeulen & Francis Catteeuw
Koramic Aléonard green glazed in two shades
Year of completion2017