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MFA De Zeeheld

At an inner city location in Amsterdam, an existing monumental school building has been renovated and expanded into this accommodation for primary education, child care and social functions. An important issue for the design was that the school did not have a schoolyard. Three wings at the backside of the existing building have partially made room for the Van Diemenstreet, which had to be broadened, and partially for a new extension with an outdoor area and a sports hall.

We have translated the pedagogical principles of safety, clarity of arrangement and mutual connection, into the design by literally creating a three-dimensional framework for the school as a protection for its users. This framework of glass and brick encloses both the actual school and its outdoor area. The large amount of glass provides a view on the world outside the school, but keeps it actually outside. This provides the school with the shelter it requested, but without separating it entirely.

The functionality and atmosphere of this outdoor area provide the school with a substantial surplus value. The outdoor area can be accessed at all levels: from the entrance plaza up to the sunny roof-square. These levels are interconnected by large stairs, which can be used as a grandstand, a slide or a playground. By making the outdoor area dynamic, energetic and open, the indoor area could be kept quiet, intimate and private. The main lay-out on the inside is clear and simple, with connection corridors between the classrooms, which provide additional options by their width for study and meetings, for example.

Location Roggeveenstraat 14, Amsterdam

Client Stadsdeel Westerpark

Program Education, child care, sports, social service

Area 4.800 m2

Design 2004

Completion 2009

Cost € 3.300.000,--

Contractor Schreuer Amsterdam

Management BOA Advies, Amsterdam

Photography Luuk Kramer