Elementary school with maximum outdoor space in an urban fabric
Outdoor space is an important component in the design vision. This space is maximised by keeping the corridors and the circulation spaces between the different classes as much in the outdoor environment as possible. As a result, the school’s outdoor spaces are not only for recreation or education, but are consciously developed from a balance between the built and unbuilt.
The school is conceived as an important player in the urban fabric. Conversely, the city is a rich setting for an educational institution. The planned project is located at the core of a building block with an inward-looking setting. NU is committed to a strong, natural environment with sufficient (play) space. An urban context means meeting and experiencing a vibrant complexity.
School in the neighbourhood
Common features such as the reception infrastructure and the agora can be rented or loaned to external parties without disturbing the classes.
The footprint of the building is designed so that a long perspective arises with deep horizontal cross-sections. This creates a highly spatial and differentiated outdoor environment.
All collective functions are organised on the ground floor. This creates maximum contact with the outdoors, which is partially covered.
The hall or agora is located on the ground floor and is created by removing earth to produce an intimate, ground-level space. The hall can function as a small, intimate room, or as a large space that organises in part outdoors.
The classrooms, care classrooms, therapy rooms, music rooms and eurythmy rooms are located in the two levels above. This allows for a more intimate operation and good concentration, while the exuberant activity takes place at the field level.
Education is about togetherness, connection to others and community. The whole is designed slightly concave in order to embrace the playground.
The various spaces have been designed with great care, creating specific plans with a diversity of preconditions.
- client Vrije Rudolf Steinerschool, Ghent
- location Ghent, Belgium
- date September 2019
- status competition proposal
- team NU Nathan Heindrichs, Aaron Van Acker, Sarah Callewaert, Sophia Holst