Architecture School in Tournai
Aires Mateus
Tournai, Belgium
The prestigious Portuguese studio Aires Mateus, known for its white architecture of pure volumes, is the author of the architecture school of Tournai, where light and dialogue with adjacent buildings are handled with extreme delicacy.

Connecting the structures of two industrial constructions to a convent previously used as a hospital, the Faculty of Architecture of Tournai rises within a historical city block, amid buildings of different identities and periods. Continuing the street alignment, it stands out because of the simplicity, precision, and purity of its skin of exposed concrete.

Inside, the side sheds contain the classrooms and the library, and the old hospital has been repurposed for administrative offices. On the other hand, the more public parts of the program – including the auditorium and the foyer – fall within the new volume, serving as gathering places and as circulation elements. It is this connection function that characterizes the new construction, which links up all the school’s spaces both vertically and horizontally.

The abstraction of the exterior extends to the interior, which is likewise rendered in exposed concrete, with the result that the spaces gives the impression of purity.
 

Image 30 of 1.2 1 in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
© Tim van de Velde
Image 31 of 1.1 1 in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
© Tim van de Velde
Image 32 of 3.1.1 scaled in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
© Tim van de Velde
Image 33 of 12 2 scaled in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
© Tim van de Velde
Image 34 of 5.0 in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
© Tim van de Velde
Image 35 of tournai sections in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
Image 36 of tournai DC in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
Image 37 of tournai ground floor in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
Image 38 of tournai 2nd floor in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
Image 39 of 9. final scaled in Architecture School in Tournai - Cosentino
© Tim van de Velde

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