Mecanoo has won the Lieven de Key Medal 2013 for architecture with their design of the Sterren College School for Vocational Training in Haarlem. The City of Haarlem awards the Medal annually, alternately for historic preservation, urban planning and architecture.
A jury of architectural professionals unanimously chose the Sterren College from ten nominations, all completed between 2010 and 2013.
The jury used the words "phenomenal, original and surprising" to describe the urban and social qualities of Mecanoo's design. The extraordinary translation of the functional requirements into a sophisticated concept led to an "efficient, comfortable, and warm building." A quote from the jury: "The Sterren College sets a standard, it figuratively rises above Haarlem."
The Sterren College is a colorful school for vocational training of 11,000 m2, with an open and warm atmosphere. It offers many places for people to gather as well as an abundance of natural light and a pleasant indoor climate. Mecanoo designed the building as a green village with both a quiet and an active side.
The quiet side contributes to its green surroundings with the adjacent park undulating over the building. Bicycles and scooters arrive from the active side. The Sterren College was completed in December 2010 and can accommodate about one thousand students.