In a new integrated child centre in Leeuwarden, primary school Prins Constantijn and children’s daycare centre Sinne come together under one roof. The project consists of adapting and expanding an existing school building to meet contemporary requirements, fit to house over 200 children throughout the day. Blending existing physical qualities with progressive pedagogical principles, the new building is organised around a number of learning clusters, with spaces for cooperation, play, concentration, and peace.
A clear differentiation has been made between fixed and flexible structural and mechanical components, making the building easily adaptable. Due to the ever-changing nature of education, this level of flexibility is key in future proofing the school in a sustainable manner.
Concrete bands mark the volume’s edges and openings, with daylight falling deep into the building through its atrium and a palette of natural woods and hand-formed masonry used throughout. The design of the façades uses the historic building from 1929 as a springboard for a new tectonic language that seeks to form a complementary relation, rather than a contrasting one, between old and new. The renewal of this locally important building looks to establish the new children’s centre at the heart of its local community.