Repurposing agricultural heritage for an education centre on food and nature

The Paddenbroek rural centre offers space for the education and training of diverse target groups (adults, children, new and traditional farmers). At the same time it is a recreational and tourist destination, a gateway to the rural landscape of the Pajottenland. Through education and recreation, people are drawn into the world of food production and nature conservation. Architect Jo Taillieu proposed to the municipality of Gooik to partially dismantle the old fruit farmhouse and construct a volume of glass and steel all around it, protecting it from wind and weather. An enlarged greenhouse – a recognizable shape in our food production landscapes – has been placed over the original farmhouse like a bell jar, almost giving it the status of a ruin. The greenhouse itself serves as an unheated ‘in-between’ space around the offices, a café and a small bakery building. Each façade offers a different, unique view on the surroundings.

partners and actors
jo taillieu architecten, municipality of Gooik
biodiversity, learning, food