The architectural agency Nero won a competition for the extension of the Bruges Academy of Fine Arts. The architects drew up plans for an extension to the existing refectory in the educational institute’s inner courtyard.
Consideration of monument preservation aspects
Bruges is a city that tests architects’ creative capabilities. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and a city committee keeps an extremely close critical eye on everything that is done within the city walls. Because the expansion of the refectory was being realised near a protected chapel, the committee only gave the green light after several consultation sessions. In their final design, the architects preserved one of the two old linden trees that provided shade and green in the courtyard. The new L-shaped building seems to reach around and embrace the tree, creating a second patio where old and new come together.
Roof tile structure generates a captivating pattern
In terms of the technical construction, the architects chose a steel frame structure that could be assembled on site. This avoided having to tackle the issues of setting up a building site in the limited space. On top of that, the structure was self-supporting and completely open on the inside, without any columns or stanchions disrupting the lines. The architects decided on a single type of cladding for both the roof and the outer walls. Responding to the city commissioners’ request for a natural material to be used, they chose plain clay tiles. A test setup at Wienerberger’s site resulted in a combination of matt and glazed clay tiles. To achieve the desired effect of the tiled roof and wall cladding, the architects had to give the roofer very detailed drawings, Wienerberger customer service provided the needed details of joints and connections.
The roof and wall cladding using Koramic plain tile 301 gives the new extension a quintessentially modern character, while guaranteeing the harmonious integration into the historic surroundings.
Project nameStedelijke Academy, Bruges – extension of the refectory, Belgium
ArchitectNERO, Tim Marlier, Lise Gruwez
ClientBruges Academy of Fine Arts
Koramic plain tile 301, in a mixture of blue reduced and slate matt glazed
Year of completion2014