The new building for the Anne Frank Primary School in Utrecht is part of the Transwijk Noord regional plan and forms an intermediary between a sports park and residential neighbourhood. With its light-coloured facades, transparent ground floor and staggered roofs, the school radiates a friendly appearance in the neighbourhood.
The building also includes a gymnasium and several community functions such as a parents centre, special assistance for preschoolers with language deficiencies and after-school care centre, all of which are accessible outside school hours. Various playgrounds are located around the school, each catering to a different level of education, and two spacious central courtyards are used for outdoor class activities.
Good ventilation, acoustics and daylighting were prioritised in the design. In the classrooms, sloping roofs provide extra volume for natural ventilation. Full-height glass facades around the courtyards and skylights on the first floor admit plentiful daylight into the school. Overhangs shade the interior from direct sunlight and prevent overheating in the summer.
The structure, as well as walls, ceilings and floors, is constructed from laminated pinewood that is exposed in the interior. This ultra sustainable material is insulating, lends warmth to the school and helps regulate humidity. Additionally, it has sufficient thermal mass to accumulate heat, which benefits regulation of the indoor climate.