European school of Brussels – a combination of old and new

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Since September 2012 has Brussels his 4th new European School. The direction of the buildings dropped the former cadet school in Laken, a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, renovate and extend to a thoroughly contemporary school for around 2.500 students. The design of the temporary architects & engineers association ‘4à4’ reconciles the monumental military architecture with playful and resolutely contemporary new buildings and creates a functional campus where each child find his place.

The project of Archi 2000, Conix Architects, DMV Architecten, Atelier d’Architecture du Sart Tilman and engineering Marcq & Roba become the winner of the design contest of Temporary Association ‘4à4’. The starting point was the preserve of the protection of the 19th century buildings in neorenaissance; everything after were demolished and replaced by new buildings.

The designers wanted to keep as more as possible the “monumental excellence” of the square and the buildings but also take away the severity or strength from the military school. That’s why they chose for contemporary design in contrast with the nice existing buildings. The Belgian ASSA ABLOY specifiers team was involved since the beginning with all the players to propose the best solutions respecting all requirements for security, safety & convenience for the new building and the old building.


The school open his doors on 24th of October 2012 in present of  King Albert II and queen Paola, president Barroso, vice-president Šefčovič, secretary Verstraeten and a lot of other dignitaries. “ The European schools are, in my eyes, the symbol of het European project: coexistence, solidarity and respect for our diversity,” according to Mr. J. Barroso, the president of the commission.