Sterren College Secondary Vocational Education

Sterren College Secondary Vocational Education

Haarlem, Netherlands

Architecture, Educational

Size: 11,000 m2
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2006 - 2008
Project Realisation: 2009 - 2010
Address: Badmintonpad, Haarlem, the Netherlands
Client: Dunamare

Programme: College (preparatory secondary vocational education) with exterior spaces.

Awards: School Building Innovation Award of the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Science 2013.

Located on the outskirts of Haarlem, Sterren College accommodates 1000 students from six secondary vocational courses. The colourful school building with an open, warm atmosphere offers a positive environment for students to meet and learn.

Besides many spaces for gathering, the building provides abundant natural light and a comfortable indoor environment. Situated between the water of the Delft canal and the railway, the school is designed with two faces: one calm and the other active. The school is embedded in the landscape as a composition of four diagonally placed building elements.

At the front, the buildings are staggered with various open spaces in between. These resulting in-between spaces and surrounding green areas combine to create a park with footpaths and school gardens.

This park curves over the building in the form of a green roof. A calm appearance on this side of the school addresses the requests of neighbouring residents. Students enter via the roof, where the bicycle shed and schoolyard are located.

The restaurant and small shop are placed along the park edge to engage the surrounding companies and community. The double-height multipurpose assembly hall is the hub of the school and features two tribune-like steps that offer seating for lunch or a chat. After school hours, the assembly hall and restaurant can function independently.

A wide corridor winds across the school, connecting all the departments that serve as smaller hubs for the different courses. A flexible, open columned structure enables the building to adapt easily to future needs. 

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