Primary school ‘Pierenbos’

Primary school ‘Pierenbos’

As part of the renovation of the village centre of Halle-Zoersel, a new building was created for the ‘Pierenbos’ primary school with sports complex. By providing the school with a new location in the village centre, the heart of ‘Halle Dorp’ was strengthened by the clear presence of the school and all the additional functions that could be frequently used by the residents. Moreover, the central location now ensures that the school is easily accessible to everyone and promotes the use of bicycles.

The school was conceived as an enclosed school landscape surrounded by greenery. By dividing the built-up volume into different, smaller entities for the nursery school, primary school and sports facility, each with its own access, the large core was broken up and an open, light school emerged with buildings and circulation flows that are in keeping with the surrounding built-up area. On the north side, the school was given a face to the village room; the openness of the school becomes very noticeable here and creates a strong visual and physical relationship between the village room and the school. Because of the strategic positioning of the sports hall in the village room, it acts as a hinge between the school and the village. The sports facility can function as a completely independent part of the school, so that outside residents can easily make use of it.

The school cafeteria and an extra multi-purpose play hall were also strategically placed within the complex as a link between the primary school and the nursery school, with the possibility of use by the residents of Halle for various activities. By organising all the classrooms around the playground, a clear and functional concept was created in which the different areas are in contact with each other and can relate to each other.

The ground floor of the school and the sports complex was designed in a beige brick façade that matches the materiality of the surroundings. Since the function of the school and sports complex required a certain colour and presence in the village centre, the upper storey contrasts with the surrounding dwellings through its metal cladding in a wavy sheet. This gave the sports complex a subtle shiny finish in aluzinc, while the school itself was given a warm yellow tint.

A green zone around the school, with small gardens near the nursery school classrooms, ensures that the green character of the village centre is maintained and improved. The parking was organised to suit the neighbourhood by integrating the parking spaces and a kiss & ride zone in the green zone, spread over the three connected streets and the various accesses to the school and the sports complex.

In terms of energy management, the new building takes a pioneering role. The school meets the standards for a BEN-building (Nearly Energy Neutral) with an E-level below 40. The sports complex has also been designed to be very sustainable and, with a K-level of 19, it far exceeds the current requirement of K40. All the buildings on the site are connected to a central heat source, so that heating can be provided in an efficient and maintenance-friendly way. The necessary controls ensure that a flexible use of the buildings remains possible. A PV installation is integrated on the roof of the sports complex.

The communal sports complex is fully integrated into the school environment. The principle of an open, broad-based school is realised here because the sports complex will also be used intensively by the residents of Halle-Zoersel. Various sports associations (basketball, volleyball, circus school, etc.) have moved into the building, which was designed and adapted to their needs.

A logical and practical organisation was the key to the development of the sports complex. Maximum use was made of a readable and functional building for the visitors. Solid and low-maintenance materials were used in order to create a sustainable sports complex. In terms of energy consumption, maximum use was made of a compact, well-insulated building in order to limit heat losses.

Technical info


Gemeente Zoersel



Design team

Archiles architecten, Omgeving, Arcadis, De Fonseca, 2B-Safe


Groep Van Roey


2015 – 2017


4.345 m²


7.228.188,00 EUR




Liesbet Goetschalckx