On Friday November 21st, the new building for the (pre)-vocational secondary education school Noorderpoort and Ubbo Emmius in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands, officially opened. Mecanoo designed the multifunctional building, its interior and the adjoining landscape. The transparent building with its spruce slatted facade lies by a garden with generous stretches of water, and is highly sustainable. As an exceptional school, the building challenges students whilst inspiring them to learn.
Atrium as the beating heart
The school building has been designed from within with a central atrium acting as its beating heart, tying the various functions of the building into one cohesive whole. The grand staircase acts as the primary meeting point in the school, giving access to all other floors. Large ‘shop windows’ allow for each of the different departments within the school to present the work that is being done. This transparency encourages students to take pride in learning their craft. For instance: the building engineering department will show how a model home is being built and aspiring chefs can be seen preparing meals in the training kitchen.
An innovative new way of collaboration between educators, businesses and the city council has made the new school building possible. Several commercial parties are leasing space within the building to offer students an on-site work experience placement. The city of Stadskanaal is co-owner of the building and allows local sports associations to use the school’s facilities, such as the changing rooms, the canteen and the large terrace overlooking the playing fields.
The building has been awarded BREEAM Very Good certification. Besides low energy consumption, smart acoustic solutions, an abundance of natural daylight and good public transport access, the building has gained credit for its emphasis on transparency. To all intents and purposes, the school is future proof and can be divided into multiple independently operated sections should its educational function eventually require less space. In the near future, however, this will not be the case: the modern educational environment of Noorderpoort and Ubbo Emmius has been very well received by its users.
For more information on the press release in English/Dutch please contact the PR Department