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GATE 15 Assisting Students in Antwerp

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Gate 15 is a project on initiative of AG VESPA, situated in the centre of the Antwerp student area which opened its doors in 2014. The site consists of a co-working space, a multifunctional room, 29 student rooms and the House Of The Student: a place where students can acquire information, socialize, hold meetings or organise events. The largest part is newly constructed, but the project also integrates a protected monument.
SUSTAINABILITY

From the beginning of the design process, both the technical and the urban / architectural sustainability were integrated in the project.
For the study of the technical sustainability of GATE 15 we worked together with ‘Daidalos Peutz’, an office with a lot of experience in building physics of constructions.
A comfortable climate is realised by a very good thermal insulation and mechanical ventilation with heath recovery. The student rooms are heated with condensing boilers.
By adding several roof lights, natural daylight can enter in the whole building. The energy demand is minimised by using efficient light elements.
The flat roofs that are visible are covered with a green roof; the higher roofs are connected to a rainwater recycling system for reuse in the student rooms.
A mix of new materials and recycled materials was used, for example:
– The brick facades (inside and outside) of the existing house were repaired with recovered bricks
– The wooden formwork of the concrete facade was recycled to make furniture for example the front desk
Next to technical sustainability, the urban and architectural sustainability was also an important point of attention.
The location of these public functions in the city centre, on a parcel that was used as a parking lot, makes it easily accessible with public transport. Each parcel has its own covered bicycle parking, three in total.
The building was designed to make future change of function possible: the student rooms are separated with light walls, that can be removed to become for example an office or a co-working space.

UNIVERSAL DESIGN

From the start, universal design was an important subject.
At different stages, the access experts ‘Enter’ were consulted to find the best solutions to make the building as comfortable and easily accessible as possible for everyone. This results in a building that is easily accessible:
– The entrance is marked very clearly by a concrete volume on the new square, and all the signs inside and outside are with a lot of contrast to improve the visibility
– Large glass facades have text signalisation, to prevent anyone mistaking them for an open window
– All entrances are wide enough and have a maximum height difference of 1,5cm
– Next to the doors a width of 50cm is respected to allow easy opening when sitting in a wheelchair
– The front desk has a lower part that can be used by wheelchair users
– Each sanitary facility has an accessible toilet
– 2 Elevators make the offices on the higher floors and most of the student rooms accessible
– 3 of the student rooms are adapted for wheelchair users

COMMUNITY IMPACT & ENGAGEMENT

GATE 15 is situated in the centre of the Antwerp student area. This ‘House Of The Student’ is a place where foreign students can acquire information, socialize, hold meetings or organise events and more. The site consists of a co-working space, a multifunctional room, offices and 29 student rooms.
For the community a lot has changed since the project was realized. The site was a fenced space used as an outside parking space, but also for dumping trash. The protected monument, a house of the seventeenth century, was in a very bad condition.
The project gave back the site to the community: a public square was created surrounded by a co-working space, the entrance of the ‘House of the Student’ and a multifunctional room. It became a new step stone in a circuit of urban passages in the city centre. Situated in front of a passage to the university auditorium, it connects very well to the student scene.
The street façade is made as open as possible to allow passers-by to catch a glimpse of the activities inside. The multifunctional room is available for any student wanting to hold a meeting or organise an event.
Both the inhabitants of the area as the students were involved in the design process and kept informed by organising an idea competition for the co-working space and for the public square. An exhibition was organised in the auditorium of the University were students could ask questions to the client and architect, and give feedback. The whole community was welcomed in a big opening party, to allow them to get to know the building and the collaborators of Gate 15.
A lot of positive feedback came from the urban planning office of the City of Antwerp, from the students and from the neighbours who were happy to see this ‘city cancer’ make place for a vibrant meeting place. By involving the community both in the design process as in the daily activities, everyone can consider this place a bit as their own.

Project Information:

Name:
GATE 15, Assisting Students in Antwerp

Award:
Belgische Prijs voor Architectuur 2015
Prix Belge pour l’Architecture 2015
Belgian Prize for Architecture 2015
Photographers: André Nullens, Stijn Bollaert

Program:
The House Of The Student is a place where foreign students can acquire information, socialize, hold meetings or organise events and more. The site consists of offices, a co-working space, a multifunctional room and 29 student rooms.

Architect:

BOB361 architects    
Team:
Ivo Vanhamme
Goedele Desmet
Lotte De Swaef
Steven Van Hoorde
Anne-Valérie de Mûelenaere    

In cooperation with:

Restoration: Studio Roma cvba, Kessel-Lo
Furniture design: Going East, Antwerpen
Structure: Ney & Partners, Brussel
Special techniques: Istema nv, Gent
Acoustics and building physics:  Daidalos Peutz bouwfysisch ingenieursbureau bvba, Leuven
Client: AG Vespa, Antwerpen
Location: Kleine Kauwenberg 15, 2000 Antwerpen
Competition : April 2010
Completion: November 2014
Surface: 2305 m²    
Volume: 6581m³

Buildling Cost:

€ 3 703 042 – (excl. VAT and fees)
€ 1 607 €/m2 – ( excl. VAT and fees)

Main Contractor:

DCA nv, Beerse (ruwbouw en gevel – gros œuvre et façade – structure and facade)

Main subcontractors
Verniers nv, Oostende (exterior joinery)
Vossal NV, Beerse (roof lights)
Cofely Fabricom, Aartselaar (electricity)
Stallo bvba, Laarne (heating)
Vanhout.pro nv, Turnhout (furniture)
Hotterbeex bvba, Beringen (linoléum)
Dox acoustics, Kapellen (acoustic doors )
Smits Roger bvba, Wommelgem (interior joinery)
Konkrix nv, Meeuwen-Guitrode (polished concrete)

Photographer:
– André Nullens: [email protected], +32 475 68 53 91
– Stijn Bollaert: [email protected], +32 486 67 89 00

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GATE 15 in the centre of the Antwerp is a place, where students can acquire information, socialize, hold meetings or organise events.

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