The Academie MWD; Dilbeek, Brussels

The Academie MWD in Dilbeek, Brussels expands on the cities reputation as the cultural capital by offering education in music, theatre and dance, as well as providing access to a new auditorium-theatre. The new academy is located in the center or Dilbeek with a variety of contrasting snituations surrounding it.  To the south is the main square (Gemeenteplein) with City HAll and local restaurants; west, CC Westrand (Westrand Cultural Center) with its monumental Brutalistic volumes; north, Wolfsputten, a protected area of natural forest; and east, a compact group of suburban villas with pitched roofs following the archetypal image of the farm.

Designers at Carlos Arroyo Architectos were challenged harmonizing the different situations, and at the same time producing a building with a quality of its own.  Designers first addressed the volume, making sure the building was a soft transition between the scale of the houses and the imposing presence of CC Westrand.  in form, the gables along the street reflect the houses on the other side, but then become a great cantilever that looks CC Westrand face to face.  The function; the only entrance is on the side of Westrand.  There is no activity on the other perimeters due to their domestic or natural nature.  it is only on the side facing the cultural center, where the auditorium rises from the ground, creating a covered public space leading to the academy entrance.

The image of the building creates an optic effect.  It you walk towards trees you see trees, an image of Wolfsputten, if you walk in the opposite direction you see the colors of Hoppenbrouwers.