Repurposing for Isque castle
Isque Castle against the village centre of Overijse is protected as a monument. The primary school in the castle would like to stay there, in an environment that allows for today’s education.
There has been talk of a castle on the site since the mid-14th century. The core of the current castle is thought to have originated at the end of the 15th century, when the site was owned by the van Wittem family. Over the centuries, the castle was owned by several noble families, including the Counts of Hoorn. Systematically, the castle was extended and rebuilt to its current volume. The polygonal stair tower, topped with a spherical spire, the east wing of the castle, the coach house and the pavilion, which disappeared in the 1960s, were identified in 1947 as having the highest heritage value.
The castle suffered badly during World War II and was bought by the Belgian state in 1949, which housed a state school. Until today, that ‘school function’ is present on the site and in the buildings: there is a primary school owned by Community Education (GO!). GO! would like to keep its school on the site, but of course wants it in buildings adapted to today’s education. That requires a new use for the castle.
PMV enables redevelopment
As part of its Flemish Heritage Vault activities, PMV has signed a cooperation agreement with GO! in order to carry out, in a first phase, a spatial-economic analysis of future infills for the castle and the site. The aim is to clarify the spatial and economic potential of a reallocation. The study was carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Erfgoedstudio in collaboration with A2O architects. Three possible scenarios were depicted. In a second phase, PMV together with GO! will launch a marketing procedure to concretely assign a new exploitation or infill for Isque Castle to an entrepreneur. At the same time, the realisation of a new primary school on the site will be put out to tender (design & build).
The heritage project in figures
The site is approximately 3.5 ha (partly reserved for the new school buildings). The new infill for the castle is about 1,200 m² (floor area).
- GO! is official education organised for and by the Flemish Community. GO! is the current owner of the whole site and sets up a primary school there. It wants to keep that there in the future, in new buildings. (www.g-o.be)
- Erfgoedstudio is a study agency specialising in heritage objects. (www.erfgoedstudio.be)
- A2O architects is a firm with offices in Hasselt and Brussels. In their projects, they regularly take up the challenge of integrating new buildings appropriately with heritage objects. (www.a2o-architecten.be)