The new community centre will be located next to the sports infrastructure 'De Sportstek'. This way, the building and its surrounding landscaping will form a keystone for the municipality's leisure zone. The project will house a new library, a large multi-purpose hall, a theatre auditorium, offices for municipal staff and all associated logistics premises. The wide and generous corridors crossing the building will serve as foyer, entrance hall and passageway. As an 'interior village street', they will form important meeting spots.
The interior circulation continues organically to the outside. On the northeast side, the community centre opens up on to the green amphitheatre. To the south, the interior circulation flows seamlessly into the reception plaza, where there is bicycle and pedestrian connection to the nearby village centre. We approached the design for the library and halls from all possible viewpoints, giving the building five welcoming facades and making it a versatile design with no backside.
Design and construction details
The library and halls each have their own access. By arranging the other functions around the multipurpose hall, they serve as a buffer to the neighbourhood. The spacious internal corridors, in turn, provide an acoustic buffer for the various rooms.
Several outdoor zones will surround the site, from a generously sized reception plaza over a tread field to a natural green area. The reception plaza leads directly to the auditorium, while the green area connects to the library, allowing it to serve as a reading garden.
In terms of scale, the new building will match the municipal architecture without disappearing into the shadow of the sports hall. In terms of material choice too, the project will connect to the warm living environment with a combination of small-scale bricks, pastel-coloured aluminium joinery and painted joinery.
We paid close attention to sustainability. The full Totem analysis was completed and we applied the GRO indicator of the Flemish Government. The energy concept is completely fossil-free. The building will be heated by geothermal energy. In the larger rooms, the climate will be entirely controlled by an energy-efficient ventilation system.
This way, the design and layout of this project will provide both the users of the new building and the residents of Stekene with a great additional asset to the municipal living environment. Next to that, the exterior landscaping draws a new connection with the Dorpsstraat that lies just down the road.