For the Rotterdam education foundation LMC, we have previously had the honour of taking care of the Vakcollege. This time we were allowed to rearrange and redesign the Montessori school after a tender.
The building in question previously housed two different schools. As the other school moved to another location, the opportunity arose to completely redesign the building.
The area is usually heavily utilised, and you are designing for different audiences. Teachers, other staff and, of course, students all need to feel at home there. So what is needed is a vibrant and practical space with an appealing atmosphere, but one that can take a beating. In that quest, we got wonderful input from the site manager who showed throughout that he knows how to be a good client. Future, together, sustainable, fitting, colour explosion were the main key words and principles of the new design.
By the latter, we did not mean more explosive colours. On the contrary. We moved away from primary colour use to create more calm and a no-nonsense look. That setting is more in line with the experience of students who are, after all, already young adults. We were also looking for more calm in the teachers’ room. Previously, the place was a bit messy. Not exactly a space where you could really recharge as a teacher on days that are usually very dynamic. We created a lounge and relaxation area with its own character.
Instead, for the students, we made a kind of monkey rock in the auditorium with playful, contemporary seating elements that can take a beating. This brought about a nice change in the auditorium landscape and facilitated a different way of sitting. A major tender for this building will follow in a few years. Until then, students and teachers can come here to their hearts’ content.
Photographer: Chiela van Meerwijk