This mixed use complex located in Osdorp, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Amsterdam, forms part of an ambitious urban renewal project. A smart organisation of functions and building volumes ensures an engaged and safe neighbourhood. The fruitful collaboration between Mecanoo, the developer Ymere, the school board, a design studio and an artist resulted in a richly detailed building that contains social housing, a school, sports hall, two playgroups, day-care centre and care support centre.
All the social and community functions are organised in the base of the building. The northern part of the building reduces in size from six to three floors where it connects with an adjacent residential block. Here, the complex opens onto a green courtyard. Four floors of apartments are located above the school, sixteen of which are wheelchair-accessible. The single-family dwellings are placed on the quieter north side.
After school hours, the school facilities and playgrounds are available for residents to use. Shared functions such as the sports hall and courtyards are placed centrally in the building and each function has its own entrance. The exterior of the complex features richly variegated brickwork. Half-open facades on the inner sections are combined with wide galleries. An alternating rhythm of balconies and half-recessed windows accentuates the building’s lively appearance on the street side.
The playful detailing, such as the entrance gate designed by Studio Makkink & Bey, reflects the collaborative quality of the project. Artist Elspeth Pikaar incorporated text and drawings by the children into glass panels on the school. Throughout the school, vivid green accents punctuate the interior, which is centred on children’s needs.