ROC ID College has selected Mecanoo and building partner GiesbersGroep for the design of their new school for vocational training in the historic centre of Leiden. The complex will open in 2017 and house three departments that are currently scattered over different locations. One of the starting points for the design, which will be finalized mid-2014, is the connection with the historic character of the location.
The proposed design by Mecanoo and Giesbers respects and enhances the current structure and identity of the historic center of Leiden. Behind brick facades, several building components make up a sheltered unit reflecting the small scale of the town and creating an intimate atmosphere even at 10.000 m2. The former post office will be integrated into the new school complex.
While it remains recognizable as a separate building, it will be connected with the main structure by alleys and courtyards. A central, semi-public alley runs across the complex giving the public access to the central atrium during school hours. Behind large shop windows, practice rooms and public functions, such as a hair salon run by students, are located at street level.
Over the coming months Mecanoo and Giesbers will finalize the design together with ROC ID College. Subsequently the demolition of the existing building will start in the fall of 2014 after which construction of the new plan will start. Completion is scheduled for mid-2017.