Label Architecture is the firm founded by Jean-Didier Bergilez, Michel Lefèvre and Thibaut Rome and based Brussels. The office was commissioned to design the extension of a school in Mechelen, halfway between the Belgian capital and Antwerp. Two new volumes are realized inside an already dense and chaotic block, where diverse typologies and architectural style intermingle.
Label Architecture, though, prefers to describe the intervention starting from its voids: “In an attempt to structure the open space of the building block, the project introduces a series of courtyards (…) forming breathing areas in the middle of the compact urban fabric”.
Changes in the paving materials, green areas, metal grids and other pieces of furniture articulate this void in different settings with different programs, while they mark the path from the street to the school’s collective interiors, and back.
Buildings take a back seat, they blur in the background. They are monolithic blocks, where few openings are carved following a regular grid, and they are virtually devoid of any linguistic connotations. These brick masses, non-picturesque memories of the plot’s industrial past, are to be glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. Label Architecture’s founders raise the point in the first place: “Maybe the school buildings were there first, have been renovated a few times, and the rest of the block was constructed around them?”.
- school extension
- school building
- Mechelen, Belgium
- Label Architecture
- Founders Label Architecture:
- Jean-Didier Bergilez, Michel Lefèvre, Thibaut Rome
- 5,018 sqm