American School – Hague, The Netherlands
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Originally a 16th century farmhouse called the ‘Ter Weer’ (the farm) has now been revolutionarily restored to incorporate a new complex for the school, creating an inspirational place for children’s education.
This is the third project that architects Kraaijvanger Urbis in Rotterdam have designed and completed using leading C2C Cradle to Cradle Gold certified material Accoya wood.
The school now has a capacity for 250 children ranging from 0 to 6 years including a nursery, 12 classrooms, a gymnasium and a multipurpose room. The new entrance has been designed as a monumental heart between the farm and the ‘ barn ‘to enable synergy between the old and the new.
The architectural team have continued this synergy between the two buildings which can also be felt on the inside and outside. The new and the old buildings are connected to each other by a stunning bridge into the new atrium and the new building fits well with the barn by applying wood substructures, caps and wood cladding made from Accoya wood, the leading modified wood product.
The former barn houses, now the classrooms which are built on an inclined slope so they all receive enough daylight to create a perfect educational environment for the children. The classrooms are characterised by the amount of natural light shining through, the use of healthy materials and the direct relationship with the surrounding landscape.
The farmhouse joins the administrative functions of the school, a dining room for 100 children, a kitchen, a nursery, and a library.
The sports facilities are housed in a separate building where there is a gymnasium, changing rooms, a canteen and the clubhouse of the local handball association. The building is designed as two interlocking structures with sloping green roofs, matching the shape of the extension and rural character of the area. A large window is placed in the gymnasium overlooking the connecting bridge to the main building.
The building is fully integrated into the environment and the surrounding landscape. The design of the landscape is based on the objectives of the school which gives the young children a healthy environment to play and learn about sustainability. By using water, natural materials and to show how energy is generated the children are surrounded in a natural way with this theme. The building makes use of solar energy, LED fixtures, cold and heat storage, wastewater recycling and Cradle to Cradle materials such as Accoya wood which is used as the cladding, window frames and roofing.
Around 130m3 of Accoya wood was supplied by Dutch distributor Boogaerdt. The construction company was Blanksma Bouw and the windows were manufactured by Webo joinery.
Accoya meets the needs of the client because of its sustainability credentials such as FSC certification and Cradle to Cradle Gold certification, which is essential for many projects in Holland and throughout the world.