Visitor Center De Bourgoyen, Mariakerke
The nature and environmental education visitor centre, located at the main entrance of the urban nature reserve Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen, is an extremely compact and multifunctional building that houses an exhibition space, a cafeteria, offices for 12 workstations, a small library, 1 lab class and 1 media class. The specific implantation and environmental layout, with a small square and an open-air classroom, make the project a lively hinge between city and nature.
The building has been developed according to current Passive House standards, serving as an urban exemplary building in terms of current environmentally conscious building. All public functions are situated on the ground floor, rather silence-needing areas such as offices and educational classrooms on the first floor, all organised around a central void and reception area. Structurally the building is a timber frame, the envelope is designed with exceptional attention to insulation, airtightness, fixed and automated solar shading and fair use of materials.
What is still required for heating can be accommodated by a small modulating condensing boiler from 6 to 24 kW. Heating and ventilation are via an air group with heat recovery through a regenerative heat exchanger. A ground heat exchanger provides pre-heating in winter, cooling in summer. Natural night ventilation is via motorised tilting windows in facades and in the roof.