École Fondamentale Baron Steens
At first, school no. 7 occupied one of the wings of the fire station, built between 1861 and 1864 and part of a vast complex designed by the architect Joseph Poelaert (1817-1879). In 1880, architect J. De Blois was appointed to enlarge the school by adding a gymnasium and a conference room. For several years, the fire brigade and about 780 schoolchildren would share parts of the building.
The municipal authorities then decide to rebuild an independent school on the neighbouring site. The first project was carried out by the architect Adolphe Samyn (1842-1903). Its construction, supervised by the architect Edmond De Vigne, was completed in 1897.
The school adopts the layout and principles of the model school. The large courtyard, with a roof combining glass and wooden beams laid on thin steel trusses, is one of its typical elements. It is bordered on three sides by the classroom wings. A special feature of the central courtyard is that the ground has a scale location of the main towns in Belgium which the pupils could observe from the top of the corridors.
The interior spaces have retained their original finishes: bluestone, ceramic tiles, decorative panels, ironwork, …