Papageno, the new elementary school and day-care centre in Evere, is the result of an architecture competition organized by the department of education of the Flemish Community. De site is situated at the fringe of the city of Brussels between a true “village street” and the large-scale development around the outer ring road of Brussels. From the street on you get attracted to the site through an central circulation axis. School and bicycle parking are branched onto this axis. Referencing the fine-grained scale of the surroundings, the volume on the side of the street is limited to the scale of the existing row houses. The school is articulated in the street by a pent and technical storage. A compact volume, the kindergarten and the elementary school, is situated in the middle of the lot. Because the lot has limited space for the required program, the polyvalent space is half sunken under the building. It can be reached true the internal circulation as well as through an external staircase next to the building. Visual contact as well as light entrance is possible as well from level 0 as well as -1.
The volume keeps a certain distance from the green covered walls. The building in the middle of the site, with its larger volume, enables a smooth transition to the housing towers planned for the site behind the school. In this way a compact school is formed, surrounded by a green room.
Through the positioning of the building several exterior spaces are created, each one with a different character, and each one scaled to the size of the child. Axes and zoning ensure a logical structural order and readability.