MAD-Faculty

site C-mine 5, 3600 Genk, BE
client Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg, Univ. Campus, Agoralaan, 3590 Diepenbeek, BE
architect VBMarchitecten with Leo Van Broeck as founding partner [design] and BOGDAN & VAN BROECK [execution]
team M. Steel Lebre, A. Sümeghy
structure Grontmij Zaventem
techniques Grontmij Zaventem
photography Mikaël Falke, Thomas Mayer, Hennie Raaymakers, Vlaanderen vanuit de lucht, KHLim
surface 7.000 m² gross
budget 6.986.404,00 euro excl. vat and fees
timing design 2004 | completion 2013
status completed
project code V0421KHL

MEDIA, ARTS & DESIGN SCHOOL ON THE SITE OF A FORMER COALMINE IN GENK | COMPETITION ORGANISED BY THE CLIENT TOGETHER WITH THE CITY, 1ST PLACE

AWARDS Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2011 | Selected as Exemplary Educational Facility at the “4th Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011” | BAB2010 – Architectural Bienale of Bucharest: Award in the category “Architecture for projects larger than 1000 m²” | Exhibition Flemisch School Architecture in Riga | IPB Challenge 2010 – Selected for Shortlist Educational Buildings | Presentation at the Steel Info Symposium 2010 | Participation in the Day of Architecture 2009

The Media, Arts & Design Faculty is part of “C-Mine”, a new educational and cultural cluster on a former coalmine. From day one, the project took in account the programme and the specific qualities of its context: a limited budget, a new teaching concept, the obligation to build on an existing underground parking and the strong presence of the surrounding industrial heritage. Foremost it aims to stimulate creativity and innovation: the circulation areas become part of the didactic environment and create an open study landscape, interactive space for meeting, study, social contact and exchange of ideas.
The facade, in perforated galvanised steel, not only refers to the molecular structure of coal, but simultaneously engages a dialogue with the historical elevator towers of the coal mine. Notwithstanding a rough industrial materiality, the building is not hard: the translucent facade almost has the subtle and soft appearance of lace. Apart from that, it acts as a solar screen and a privacy buffer. Only the windows of the study landscape are not covered by the steel skin, so that the spatially binding element of the project is being expressed in the facade.
Inside the building, the industrial architectural language is visible as well. The concrete structure and all the electrical, mechanical and technical equipment remain apparent. This “human-based low-tech” allows a flexible adaptability of the infrastructure and programmatic layout of the school. Only light, transparent structures in polycarbonate or nets act as space dividers that have a minimal presence and provide spatial continuity. This way the design of the building expresses the mission statement of the school and becomes a genuinely creative “teaching and learning factory”.

More info on the website of C-mine.

Also check the photos on the websites of the photographers:
© Thomas Mayer
© Mikaël Falke
© Hennie Raaymakers