© Michel Kievits

Kiem Special Care School

Dordrecht, Netherlands

Architecture, Educational, Cure and Care

Size: 5,322 m2
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2010 - 2011
Project Realisation: 2011 - 2013
Address: Sitterstraat 7, Dordrecht, the Netherlands
Client: SPON (Stichting Speciaal Onderwijs Drechtsteden e.o.)

Programme: School for separate branches of education (multiple disabilities, long-term illnesses and learning issues), care and medical science, including preschool and after-school activities and sports facilities.

The Kiem Special Care School is located in the Sterrenburg neighbourhood in south Dordrecht.

The school brings together five care and education organisations, including three schools for children with physical disabilities, multiple disabilities, developmental disabilities or long-term illnesses; care organisation Gemiva-SVG Group; and the Rijndam rehabilitation centre.

KIEM is a welcoming, friendly and safe environment with a domestic feel where children can learn, play, meet one another, rehabilitate and develop themselves freely.

The human scale and feeling of security formed key elements in the design. The building supports the educational vision of KIEM whereby children are divided at the cognitive level in home groups and not on the basis of their disability.

Each of the group spaces, including the Lower School house for junior classes, Upper School house for senior classes, Sports house and Rehabilitation house, is built with a different coloured brick for easy recognisability, thereby enabling children to feel safer in their own house.

Transparent glass zones containing the canteen, media library and language studio connect the houses.Finishes and materials were chosen for quality and visual simplicity. All the walls, floors and ceilings are prefabricated from pinewood, incorporating both the structure and interior cladding.

The timber creates a warm atmosphere and calm learning environment in the school without unnecessary distractions. Additionally, the pinewood contributes to a comfortable indoor climate. KIEM attained a Frisse School category B rating with a decentralised indoor climate system.

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