The Herbert Vissers College (HVC) is housed in three buildings all within walking distance of each other on the northeast core of the village of New Vennep. A competition was organized for a new building for VMBO education because the current VMBO building is very outdated and below current standards. Environmental and socially responsible ambitions are characterizing more and more the designing of a new school as a top concern. New school buildings need concrete environmentally sustainable options together with more user based features for meeting, connections and short distances between education sectors and expansion possibilities.

Our architectural proposal for the new school embodies these ambitions through an integrated approach to form, function and sustainability. The building concept has three sides. The front of the building is designed in an open welcoming way through the form of a stepped valley which organizes the different main program areas of theory, practice and meeting over each other. On the side of the busy road and the city, the building is more closed in the form of stepping floors outwards to both function as massive shading device for the floors below and create a striking and recognizable face of the school to the village beyond. The third side is the roof that with its factory-like skylights bring light and warmth into the interior hall and is topped off with a moss-sedum vegetation as a sustainable function against overheating and a rainwater buffer.

Inside the program of spaces is divided so that the various programs of theory, practice and preparation are superimposed on each other. The interior is designed as a learning amphitheater with short distances between the sectors in the form of terraced open learning study areas. Upon entering the school the large high central area is open and surrounded by all the theory and practice based classrooms that emphasize the character of a practical experience educational building. When you walk inside you see everything but without disturbing the focussed activities in the school.

Location: Nieuw Vennep, NL
Year: 2013
Competition: Second Prize Program: Practical based education center and gym hall with 100 parkingplaces
Client: Stichting IRIS, Heemstede
Associates: Oever Zaaijer architectuur en stedebouw