Nature as a source of inspiration
In the Groote Wielen in Rosmalen we designed a special place: an educational building embedded in a green landscape in the middle of a new residential area, which ties in with the biophilic educational vision of Campus aan De Lanen. Campus aan De Lanen offers care and education under one roof for children aged 0 to 15. It is a contemporary concept where childcare, primary and secondary education work together and children of different ages can meet and learn from each other. In addition to several educational buildings, the Campus also includes a sports building that can be used by local sports clubs outside of school hours.
The term biophilia comes from the American biologist Edward Wilson and means 'love of nature'. The architectural vision is based on the use of natural materials and colors, bringing in plenty of daylight, designs with plants and views of the green surroundings. In short, a building where you are one with nature.
Discovering the world
The educational vision of Campus aan De Lanen is inspired by Montessori education and “gestalt learning” in which children are encouraged to discover the world for themselves. Campus aan De Lanen takes a holistic view of mankind and aims to create a natural learning environment in which the child can thrive as a whole. Daily contact with nature and an environment with natural elements, materials and colors are essential components for a child’s development within this biophilic educational vision. Everything within the educational program is aimed at stimulating the senses and instinctive reactions of the children so that they can explore on their own. The children are taught indoors and outdoors, so the outdoor spaces are just as important for the education at Campus aan de Lanen as the educational building itself.
Flowing connection with nature
In keeping with this unique educational vision, we designed a biophilic, circular school building that is connected to nature both inside and out. Sunk into the landscape environment, the educational building engages in a fluid connection with the surrounding natural outdoor spaces such as the water playground, the green facade gardens and the nature playground that invite children to play, investigate and explore the environment at their own pace.
The new educational environment has no classrooms. The design consists of four pavilions each with a unique function, identity and appearance creating a true "campus feel". The four are connected by two intersecting roof light streets and come together in the connecting heart of this educational campus; called the "Plaza Mayor".
The educational building itself also breathes nature. Natural (circular and biobased) materials and colors are used everywhere. For example, the entire construction of the Plaza Mayor, including the two large podiums, is made out of wood. And the construction of the four pavilions can be disassembled. In order to optimize the acoustics felt has been applied and the floors are made of cork. The facade is detachable and equipped with biocomposite cladding.
Outside goes seamlessly into inside
The feeling of being outside inside the building is emphasized by the skylights and the transparent facades with windows that can be opened. This allows daylight and fresh air to penetrate deep into the building. To strengthen the ecology and biodiversity, nature is applied to and on the building through green facades, nesting boxes, a biodiverse green roof and the building is situated in a green earth body that provides space for all kinds of birds, butterflies and insects. Because of this view on living nature and the direct access from the school, inside and outside run seamlessly into each other for the children.