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Kees Boekeschool

The design for the building of Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap, a school for secondary education, is situated on sixteen hectares of own property. The new accommodation consists of 9,200 m2 of facilities for secondary education and a NOC*NSF-certified sports hall of 3800 m2.

The Children Community Workshop, in dutch Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap, was founded in 1926 by education innovator Kees Boeke. In his educational ideas the child takes a central position and head, heart and hands are used as working tools. The Workshop should provide a learning environment for everybody, which stimulates taking responsibility and developing competencies. Learning from oneself, from others and from the environment is an important basic principle. This unique renewal school asked for a building in which self-responsible learning was to be the primary principle for its use.

Therefore, we wanted to design a school that would not be recognisable as a school. No educational institute or grammar school, but an informal and dynamic learning environment. We wanted to spread education “borderless” across the terrain and make it applicable everywhere: both inside and outside the school building. The design of the terrain is just as important as the design of the school’s interior. This open and landscape-like lay-out of the school connects to the requested informal way of teaching. At the same time it naturally fits the building into its natural, park-like environment.

Despite its versatility, the building is well-arranged. The building’s backbone is the footbridge and the long stairs that is its extension. In the western volume, the learning domains are grouped around an inner courtyard. The eastern volume consists of a professional theatre, practice rooms, the auditorium and the entrance hall.

Location Kees Boekelaan 12, Bilthoven

Client Stichting Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap

Program Secondary education

Area 9.200 m2 school

Completion July 2007

Contractor Heijmerink Bouw, Bunnik

Constructeur IBT Veenendaal

Management IQNN Vastgoed, Den Haag

Housing M3V