The design of community school Huizinga wants to offer pupils a learning environment in which they feel protected, while at the same time independent and free. The transition from security to independence goes gradually from class room to unit space, and from central hall to courtyard in the neighborhood. Every environment asks for other ingredients. The class rooms are positioned near the façade with lots of daylight and fresh air. A calm, peaceful place where children can study optimally. The central hall on the other hand is a place where children, their parents and the neighbors meet each other, a spacious, open place full of commotion.
The City of Amsterdam commissioned a large scale renovation of the Westelijke Tuinsteden. The new community school Huizinga, located in the Jacob Geel neighborhood, is part of this renewal. Paul de Ruiter Architects designs a vibrant school with a smart building structure wherein safety and freedom gradually merge. The design helps children to develop in a safe environment that teaches them to deal with independence.
Layered Community School
The compact school building consists of two layers which border the spacious outdoor playground. This playground is directly connected to two public squares. The junior classes and day care are situated on the ground floor, while the middle and senior classes are established on the first floor. At the ground floor the gym with changing rooms and a meeting area are located, both with their own entrance.
The school's entrance borders the outdoor playground, below a large canopy and leads directly to the heart of the building. Parents, teachers, visitors and pupils of all ages assemble here. Education plazas, which enable children from the same age to work autonomously, adjoin this central hall. Here, the feeling of protection increases. Behind these plazas we've placed the classrooms that are known for the highest level of safety.
A contrasting façade concept
The appearance of a school building can be a determining factor for children to enjoy going to school. An education building shouldn't only feel comfortable from the inside, but should also look appealing to children from the outside. Therefore, on the ground floor we've chosen for a robust, somewhat darker brick covered with planting. On the contrary, for the first floor we decided to go for a combination of enameled glass and aluminum panels in light colors to realize a fresh appearance.
|Gross floor area||2.517 m²|
|Program||Community school with day care, education plazas, space for the neighborhood and gym|
|Start construction||May 2015|
|Client||Westelijke Tuinsteden foundation & the City of Amsterdam, district West|
|User||Community school Huizinga|
|Project architects||Paul de Ruiter & Noud Paes|
|Project team||Marlous Vriethoff, Christian Quesada van Beresteyn, Richard Buijs, Laura van de Pol|
|Advisor construction||Van Rossum|