Location: Middendachtensingel 2, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Client: Board Rijn IJssel, Arnhem NL
Scope: 14,518 sqm
Design Team: Erik Schotte, Esther Klausen, Koos Lieverse, Arie Aalbers
Photographs: Iemke Ruige, Vulkers Fotografie
In order to elevate the new school building to symbolise the redevelopment of both the Presikhaaf neighbourhood and the regional community college, a highly transparent building was created with practice rooms oriented to the surrounding residential area. The structure of the building and activities going on inside can be observed readily from the outside. The generous overhangs on the top floor, the interplay of lines around the edges of the floor and the huge glass surfaces lend the building a powerful, striking appearance.
The red carpet from the original educational vision was used in the final version of the concept as an organisational element throughout the entire building: long, wide stairs and terraces dissect the floors. Alcoves were added to the stairs; semi-closed, but transparent. The stairs provide access to all of the teaching areas, which adds emphasis to the transparent character of the building.
This is a flexible building, with an open character that offers a secure and comfortable learning environment, and meets both current and future educational needs. The shape of the building is compact, which minimises the face of the outside wall and consequently retains more energy. The wide range of study programmes required considerable diversity in terms of rooms. However, demand could easily change in the future, which is why flexibility was a non-negotiable requirement. LIAG responded by choosing a column structure with column distances and adjustable heights in order to allow for various layouts. The column structure enables flexible use, thus ensuring a long lifespan and occupancy.