Lerend Landschap

The concept study ‘Campus Bret, Learning Landscape for the Twenty-First Century’, commissioned by the city of Genk, examines a residential neighbourhood on the eastern edge. Fourteen different schools are located here in an area of less than 0.5 ha. The close proximity of such a wide variety of educational offers – from primary schools to adult education, including arts, technical, practical and special needs schools – could form an important asset for the city. And yet the group of schools is perceived neither spatially nor socially nor pedagogically as a campus today. The concept study is a quest in how to respond to social and educational challenges through space and landscape. The end result is not a spatial master plan, but a spatial foundation for a continuous process in which a diversity of parties can be engaged.

In collaboration with anthropologist and pedagogue Ruth Soenen and Architecture Workroom Brussels, we mapped personal perceptions and user patterns through individual and collective talks with pupils, parents, teachers, technical staff, local residents, local associations, municipal services and other design agencies active in Genk. The resulting information was translated into ‘montages’ of potential transformation: images in which recognizable spatial and societal elements are combined with projected concepts. These images make it possible to visualize and discuss the idea of a ‘campus’ in its spatial, social and educational form. In a series of thematic workshops with a deliberately curated group of participants, those scenarios were then further developed, not only spatially, but also through the personal engagement of participants, whether pupils or principals, neighbours or city councillors.


  • Location

    Genk, Belgium

  • Client

    City of Genk

  • Description

    Conceptual study for new social, spatial and educational concepts for the school campus Bret in Genk

  • Completion

    2018

  • In collaboration with

    Architecture Workroom Brussels, Simply Community

  • 51N4E tasks

    Design based research and participation

  • Team

    Eva De Bruyn, Jonas Trittmann, Anton Parys, Dieter Leyssen, Freek Persyn

  • Program

    Educational, Social, Mobility, Infrastructure

  • Study budget (excl VAT)

    59.500 €

  • Photography

    Maarten Thijs

  • Image credits

    51N4E