't Landje Primary School & Kindergarten, Rotterdam
TU Delft MSc 1 Design Project, January 2011
This proposal for the primary school ‘t Landje aims to form a bridge between two sides of the Rotterdam World War II FIRE LINE. In a site curiously populated by three churches and vaguely defined by row housing of different scales, the school comes in the form of five solids providing a harmonious definition to the valuable square as for being the units of a GARDEN OF OBJECTS.
Three of the five solids form the main building adjacent to the square, whereas the remaining two are put together at the eastern side of the Schiedamse Vest, forming the kindergarten. The main building which houses the children from levels 3 to 8 and the kindergarten from 1 to 2 contain 16 and 4 classrooms respectively. Each building has its own gymnastics hall, allowing flexible use in off school times and as for being separate, they introduce an ANTI-MONUMENTAL scale to students, offering a domestic and friendly environment.
The entrance to the main buildings is below the BRIDGE between two classroom blocks. One immediately reaches a central hall which houses the library, extra teaching spaces a sloped multi purpose hall with a stage for school acts and a connection to the gym. This richly versatile space revolves around the TREE of ’t Landje. Influenced by the school emblem, along with forming connections to the space above, this tree is a tribute to wisdom and growth.
Two sets of staircases lead upwards into the bridge. The bridge then becomes the main circulation path climbing around the largest block until the final floor, always being neighbored by open multi purpose spaces. In the kindergarten building, the single multi purpose room opens into a TERRACE. Also present and entered from the bridge in the main building, the terraces offer secure grounds for playing.
The classrooms result from a fractured square, hence creating space for entrance niches and BALCONIES with folding windows. They work as buffer zones both in activitational and environmental terms as for providing pupils semi enclosed spaces of their own and letting large volumes of fresh air to be heated during class times along with better insulation qualities resulting from a second skin.