Address: Tuinstraat 1 | ASSEN | Netherlands | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 52.99, 6.57887
The newly conceived anthroposophical child centre de Es in Assen provides care and schooling for children from 0 to 12. And ambitious and challenging concept – and after careful planning also affordable!
Where to find the (financial) means for a from an educational viewpoint much needed but non-subsidized auditorium? By design: a lower ceiling, the hall in central position, classrooms filling the space above the audience. And by a very well-considered choice in the building’s ‘finishing touch’: selective, but of high quality. Maintenance low: increasing the financial scope as well.
A newly born doesn’t need the same environmental qualities as a schoolboy. A teacher perceives the classroom quite different from his pupils. Children: at 6 years of age doubled in length and ready to be educated. At 12 years very much alive and turning towards the world.
Unity in design and materials provides harmony. Explicit orientation towards the child’s view makes all the difference. Growing from warmer colours, sun and seclusion, to cooler colours, western light and an open vision on the world. ‘Notice board panelling’ creates for teachers and children a separate outlook on the walls. It adds up to an implicit interpretation of the anthroposophical vision, without appealing to its traditional imagery.
The two stories high school, covered with natural wood and its façades interspersed by vertical flower racks, is situated on a corner of two roads. The biomorphic round form contracts and fences itself off from the outside and draws in a white plastered building block that opens the entrance to the primary school and transforms outside in inside. The day-care and the after school child care centre, in the plastered side wing and parallel to it in the side wing of wood, have separate entrances.
The various applications of the building orientate towards the movement of the sun. The primary school classrooms to the east welcome the morning sun, in the south the rooms of the day-care centre profit from the afternoon sun and the after school child care centre on the west side receives the sun in late afternoon. To the north the windows of the hall, that is being used by all children, keep in touch with the world outside. The lively ground-plan of the classrooms and play areas follows in segmented circles the curves of the complex. The spaciously designed corridors in the primary school are interrupted by circular blank spaces in the ceiling, through which light falls from the roof to the ground floor – and heaven and earth become connected.
In positioning, height and measurements the windows are adapted to the child’s age and the various pedagogical demands. The height of the window-sills in the primary school climbs with the eye level from 50 cm to 110 cm. In the day-care centre the windows are orientated towards the world inside, while the measurement of the windows in the after school care centre belongs to the world of the grownups. The glass doors in the common rooms on the ground floor open outwards – to the outside world. The window frames on the upper floor tower high above the edges of the building, symbolizing solidarity with the cosmic world.
The transition from outside to inside, experienced by the child as fluent, is taken care of by flower racks, standing in rhythmical order in front of the façades. They bring nature inside and on their small benches the child can experience the transition of one world to the other. The high and slender windows emphasize the vertical structure of the large common hall and overlook the crossing, are open towards the influence of the world and keep an eye on the entrance of the school centre.
⇒ Architecture Guide to ASSEN
⇒ Learn more about: