LOCATION        Genk
CLIENT              City of Genk
YEAR                   2022
STATUS              Completed
PROGRAM         Community spaces


2023: Belgian Building Award - sustainability
2022: Limburgse Baksteen Award - architectuurprijs utility

Multifunctional meeting center
The project concerns the total renovation and repurposing of the St-Albertus school in Genk into a multifunctional and multicultural neighborhood center for the reception of various vulnerable target groups of the local Zwartberg district. The design focuses on caring architecture, multifunctional use and forms an accessible 'open house' where local residents can meet and vulnerable young people can find a home.

The program consists of multifunctional studios, youth rooms, sports and exercise room and multipurpose spaces.

Paragon of circular construction

The project is a special example of circular construction, of spatial efficiency, of softening and of sustainable repurposing.

Architecturally, the design focuses on the 5 important pillars of circular construction: maximum preservation and 'ode' to the existing, maximum flexibility in the future, the installation of new adaptable modular constructions, minimal use of finishes and attention to adaptable techniques and maintenance (see question about circularity)

Spatial efficiency

By adding extra floor levels and opening up the cellars within the existing building envelope, the project is a model of spatial efficiency.

The original program was 2500m2 floor space. By opening up the basement, adding an extra floor level and multifunctional sharing of the premises, it was possible to prevent the need for a new extension (original request from the client).

Energy measures and co2 limitation

The existing building was fully insulated and equipped with the new sustainable building techniques. Consumption is monitored via a building management system. Extensive studies on consumption led to smart choices in terms of techniques. By using sun-resistant glazing, for example, active cooling avoided.

Maximum efforts were made on circular construction (see above), with maximum recovery and preservation, and maximum flexibility and degradability. Maximum use was made of natural materials and local FCS labeled wood species for the new materials.
The project was completed entirely with local contractors.

B+ architecten bv | Zagerijstraat 39 bus 1 3600 Genk | www.bplusarchitecten.be | M info@bplusarchitecten.be | T +32 89 25 22 33