Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Lorentzschool, Leiden, Netherlands

Exemplary design categories: access, community use and involvement, technology rich

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
This large, three-storey building is divided into three “houses”, each with a different colour scheme and a separate entrance. Each house is arranged over three floors. Within a house, each age group has its own storey. This divides the school into well-defined spaces that are finely scaled and easy to navigate. Vertical connections via stairs and landings encourage interaction between all age groups, the objective being to create the feeling of a small school despite the size of the institution. The input of school users and the local community was sought during the design process. The consultative process covered a variety of aspects ranging from the colour scheme and use of materials to the organisation of working areas and classrooms. This helped to fashion the interior appearance of the school. Centrally positioned in the block, an open playground surrounds the building on all sides. The youngest children, the juniors, have three separate points of entry to their suite of classrooms on the ground floor. From here, they can explore the rest of the school. The middle and senior students have their own recreation areas, and entrances lead them into the heart of the school to their separate floors. All classrooms are located towards the outside of the building. This allows the main teaching spaces to make full use of natural light. Outside each classroom is a wide corridor, which has been designed to provide room for computer workstations and allow a space for independent work. The auditorium is a multipurpose space that can be used for meetings. The main stairs leading down to the auditorium can seat 100 people. For the monthly stage performances at the school, this space is transformed into a festive hall with a foyer, seating and a stage. There is plenty of space for parents and others to attend children’s musical events and plays.

Activity Areas: 38 classrooms, auditorium, play room, administration office

Project costs: EUR 5,300,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"

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cross sections (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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site plan (Registration required)
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