Paul de Ruiter
6 denise

Revealing Construction signage renovation DENISE

May 29, 2018 The New Internationale School in Amsterdam Nieuw-West

Yesterday afternoon the revealing of the construction signage took place at Piet Mondriaanstraat in Amsterdam New-West for the transformation of the monumental building Cartesius Lyceum. After the renovation the Cartesius Lyceum will be called The New International School (DENISE). A festive affair with ice-cream for the primary- and secondary school students, and champaign for the parents, local residents and the team of DENISE. Director Leendert-Jan Veldhuyzen spoke some inspiring words, 4 students loosened the robes to reveal the construction signage and afterwards everyone got the opportunity to admire the stripped Cartesius College – designed by Jan Leupen - from 1959. ‘’Let’s go inside and have a peep at nothing, it is beautiful’’ Leendert-Jan van Veldhuyzen.

The building was designed in 1957 by architect Jan Leupen and is largely a copy of the Spinoza Lyceum in Amsterdam Zuid. Together with DWA we will restore the listed building to its former glory, and equip it to meet the comprehensive requirements of a contemporary education. The Esprit consortium of schools is a household name in Amsterdam. It consists of twelve schools that are deeply committed to providing a multicultural, dynamic and international education in the most conducive learning environments possible. The New Esprit International School (DENISE) in Overtoomse Veld is one of the twelve. In response to an expanding student body, the consortium commissioned Paul de Ruiter Architects to renovate the former premises of the Cartesius Lyceum on Piet Mondriaanstraat. DENISE will move into the renovated building at the end of 2018 and will offer bilingual primary and secondary education to children of all nationalities.


Drama is an important part of the primary and secondary curriculum at DENISE. Thus its theatre is and continues to be the heart of the school. The existing balcony will be turned into a music room, and a new balcony will be built to encircle the theatre. The theatre will be available for educational purposes and major theatrical performances, both day and night.

Fresh air

The school will be equipped with a new climate control system to keep the air quality and temperature in the classrooms at agreeable levels. This system is based on the natural supply of oxygen via the façade and the mechanical remova. The energy-efficient system detects CO2and supplies fresh air on-demand.

To further ensure an optimal indoor climate, the existing window frames on all the floors are to be replaced with new wooden frames with double-glazing. This also reduces energy consumption. To maintain the building’s historical appeal, the new façade’s features will conform to the original’s dimensions.

Read more about the interior of DENISE.

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