Nova College

From closed-off school to transparent campus
  • education
  • interior

Several branches of Nova College are to be brought together in one location in Haarlem. This will require a major expansion and renovation of the existing buildings. Paul de Ruiter Architects aim to transform the vacant lot beside the existing buildings into a beautiful college campus. An energy-neutral educational building and a pavilion will be built to improve the ROC’s levels of public safety and social quality of life.

Nova S1
Nova S2

A green campus

Different functions will be brought together in the vacant lot behind the existing buildings. This clustering of functions will allow us to place the bicycle park and the car park at edge of the site, thus keeping road traffic and foot traffic apart. In so doing, we will create a green and uncluttered public space through which students and staff can stroll in complete safety. By including a landscaped hill at the edge of the site, we will be able to keep cars and road traffic out of sight and create a campus that feels intimate. The new buildings, which will include an educational building and an distinctive centrally located pavilion, will be kept modest in size, thus ensuring a campus that feels open and is neatly arranged.

Korte looplijnen verbinden mensen en gebouwen in het groen

Lively communal life thanks to an inviting school building

The new school building will be located diagonally across from the existing one. It will directly overlook and open out onto the public space, thus inviting students in and encouraging them to spend more time on campus. This welcoming quality will be aided by the transparency of the building’s glass façade. Vertical wooden slats in the façade will lend the building a warm and friendly character while protecting the glass from heat and direct sunlight. Themed squares will help to promote social and communal activity on campus. These will include a culture square, a sports square, and a community gardening square. All of which, besides stimulating activity, will allow students to get involved in school life, and get them outdoors to enjoy their green campus.

Nova 3
Nova 4

Inside the educational building

Visitors entering the new educational building will immediately be aware of the clear separation of learning spaces for theory and those for practice. The latter will be situated in the transparent base of the building, thus encouraging direct interaction with the campus. Theory lessons will take place on the first and second floor, in rooms that hug the façade. These rooms will connect with the atrium at the heart of the building via staircases and open squares. The atrium itself will offer students both social and collaborative space.

Nova 5

Fresh air in school

There is more to making students feel comfortable in an educational building than its physical appearance. Indoor climate plays an equally important role. That is why we have designed the building to make use of natural, cradle-to-cradle materials throughout its construction. In addition, the building’s air quality will be kept consistently high thanks to our use of hybrid climate islands and windows that open. Meanwhile, the triple-glazed atrium roof will shield the interior from the hot summer sun, thus avoiding overheating. At the same time, the building is designed to let in the heat of the winter sun, providing warmth in the colder months. This energy-neutral building meets all the Frisse Scholen (Fresh Air in Schools) (Class B) requirements.

Project details


Location Haarlem
Total floor area 6000 m²
Project Campus complex with multi-functional educational building, pavilion and urban development adaptations.
Start ontwerp April 2015
Project completion May 2020
Start of construction Beginning of 2018

Project Team

Client Nova College
Tenant Nova College
Project architect Paul de Ruiter & Noud Paes
Project team Marlous Vriethoff, Sander van de Weijer, Martijn van Gameren, Florina Raileanu
Structural engineering consultant van Rossum
Installations consultant VIAC
Building Physics LBP Sight
Contractor Construction combination HBB Groep and De Geus Bouw
Construction management Res & Smit B.V.
Interior architect Paul de Ruiter Architects & Firm architects
Sustainability Certificate Frisse Scholen (Klasse B)
Landscape architect ZUS