Expansion ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwecollege’ – Antwerp

Expansion ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwecollege’ – Antwerp

The demolition of the existing school building on the site of ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwecollege’ on the Frankrijklei and its replacement by a new building must provide an answer to the demand for additional school infrastructure on the site, created by extra circulation due to the creation of a nursery school on the one hand and by the move of the humanities department of ‘De Dames’ to the site of the college in 2018 on the other hand.

The existing L-building on the Louiza-Marialei, designed by Rie Haan in the 1960s, has not been used for several years. This is due to the poor structural and physical properties of the building. Taking into account the poor condition and the small surface area of the classrooms, the ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwecollege’ decided to demolish the building completely and to replace it with a new building with additional floors up to the cornice height of the surrounding nineteenth-century buildings.

The ground floor – basement and ground floor – of the new building has the same footprint and floor levels as the existing building. In this way, various connections are maintained with, among others, the Louiza-Marialei, the existing buildings, the semi-underground car park and the existing playground on top of the car park.

The underground floor of the new building will be equipped with bicycle racks and some technical rooms. The ground floor of the building includes two subject rooms, an entrance area with secretarial services and sanitary facilities, which are connected to the existing playground.

From the first floor, the new building will be deeper than the existing L-shaped building in order to generate extra surface area. The first floor of the new building will have a partly covered roof-top playground with its own adjoining toilets.

The second and third storeys recede to the left and right in relation to the nineteenth-century buildings and are developed according to a three-way split with two classrooms each to the left and right. In the middle, there is the circulation and a large hall that can be used for activities that go beyond the class room. This three-way split is determined by four structural walls at right angles to the façade, including the two closed side walls.

The front and rear elevations of the new building are opened up and implemented as a fully glazed façade that is placed on a massive plinth in line with the plinths of the historical buildings on the site. The uniform glass façade with a simple rhythm of glass divisions ensures a pure and quiet integration into the historical context.

Technical info


VZW Ignatiaanse Scholen Antwerpen



Design team

Archiles architecten, Studiebureau Boydens, Ingenieursbureau Jan Van Aelst




2015 – 2018


1.943 m²


4.200.000,00 EUR