belgian architecture practice dmvA was commissioned to transform the existing ‘care lab’, a part of vives north university in bruges. covering the spaces with timber and concrete, the architectural concept is based on the contemporary vision of education, stimulating cross-pollination between the different fields.

dmva care lab designboom

 

the building, completed in 2009 by de vloed architects, consists of three parts — a relatively closed concrete plinth, a three-story building and a floating roof. this part of the school mainly uses exposed concrete for load-bearing walls and floors. in the past, the different educational fields here were kept separated and each had its own closed classroom, now dmvA’s aim is to stimulate cross-pollination between the different fields.

dmva care lab designboom

 

 

‘care lab’ originally comprised three long small spans which limited the flexibility and made the circulation difficult. dmvA decided to cut through the three spaces by placing an educational care home in the middle of the building. through this transformation, the place gets converted to a smooth network of rooms that encourages cross-pollination between the different departments.

dmva care lab designboom

 

 

since the building is used by different departments, it was important to fill in the spaces in a clever and multifunctional way. the care home, the heart of the laboratory, simulates a cozy residential home but is still abstract — instead of using closed walls, it is surrounded by an open closet system.

dmva care lab designboom

 

 

the wooden structure around the care home doesn’t only serve as a half-open wall but can also serve as a storage or exposition space. the cool and clean concrete architecture was preserved but was complemented by the use of pinewood. by adding this warm material, a homely atmosphere is created, welcoming you when you enter the building.

dmva care lab designboom

 

dmva care lab designboom

 

dmva care lab designboom

 

dmva care lab designboom

 

dmva care lab designboom

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: maria erman | designboom

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