19 Mar 2021 • Institutions
Sociability, sustainability: how this Dutch high school was renovated for the times
‘Reuse, circularity and identity’ were ‘central’ to NOAHH | Network Oriented Architecture and Ex Interior's modernization of a high school campus in Veenendaal, the Netherlands.
After fifty years in operation, Christelijk Lyceum Veenendaal, a Dutch high school, has updated its 6,575-sq-m grounds with a 'nearly energy-neutral' rejuvenation by NOAHH and Ex Interiors. The project required that parts of the two existing structures be demolished, resulting in concrete granulate that was used to unify them with a new volume. This ‘social heart’, which frames a range of formal and casual learning spaces, encourages students to engage with one another and faculty. Here, an expansive petrol-coloured rubber staircase plays an integral role in generating that interactivity: it can be used for performances, lectures, meetings and lounging.
Floor-to-ceiling windows provide transparent view into the main classrooms, which are positioned in a ring around the wood-clad atrium. Above the ground floor are wooden ‘cabins’ that house the arts and culture and science departments. Throughout the learning landscapes, the designers referenced Le Corbusier’s technique of using colour on large surfaces to achieve a sense of peacefulness. For the furnishings, they sought a balance between convenience, maintenance and the expressed needs of the teachers and pupils.