Due to a steady increase of students in the last years, the Faculty of Healthcare of Hogeschool Gent is in need for additional auditoriums and circulation spaces. The existing school building dates from 1974, an “suffers from typical symptoms of a sick building”, such as lack of fresh air, daylight, outdoor spaces and social interaction. We proposed an integral “healing” plan for the building and site that deals with all of these aspects.
Our plan does not only concentrate on the proposed extension zone at the back of the old building but instead inserts an auditorium right into the heart of the old building, energising it from within. We create a win-win situation by using the new auditorium to improve the sustainability performance of the existing building. The interventions work as kind of “bypasses”, reorganising the buildings’ circulation and energy system to increase the general sense of comfort, to save energy and to instigate new social learning spaces throughout the building.
Following the motto of a “healthy mind within a healthy body”, we think that the teaching of healthcare starts by showcasing what healthy schools can look and behave like.