period of design:
2005 - 2007
2007 - 2009
design and implementation preparation
in partnership with:
IAA architecten; Floris Schoonderbeek / visual artist
a roof landscape as a break room in an innovative school environment concept
Three educational institutions in Enschede, being the Stedelijk Lyceum, Bonhoeffer College and ROC Twente, joined forces in 2004 to realise a new VMBO school (pre-vocational secondary education school) at two locations along Wethouder Beverstraat. A unique and architecturally innovative school environment concept was developed by IAA architecten. MTD landschapsarchitecten was commissioned in 2005 by HEVO projectontwikkeling to create a follow-up design for the fitting-in of the schools and the layout of the grounds. Important points of attention were the anchoring of the schools in their urban environment and the design of a roof landscape which would function as the break room for the pupils. For the layout of the roof, collaboration was sought with Floris Schoonderbeek as part of the artistic aspect of the assignment.
The architectural concept for both locations can be described as a large L-shaped, to be flexibly partitioned, building mass with an informal entrance on the inside and a representative entrance on the outside. In order to bring about adequate light into the building, perforations or patios have been created, which are mainly meant as ornamental gardens and are characterised by an artificial layout.
In their context both school buildings have been anchored by way of a continuous image of oaks in the grass. Access for vehicles and slow moving traffic is enabled from the inside, where parking is arranged by means of tall hornbeam hedges in a strict regime pointing in one direction. Here the slow moving traffic is the most important traffic flow; wedge-shaped hard surfaces provide access to the bicycle shed, the informal entrance and an entrance plaza.
Within the school building complex the entrance plaza plays an important role as a meeting place for the pupils and teachers, and is marked by a Pagoda tree planted in a raised tree island with a seating edge.
On the roof of the school buildings there are 3 circular, futuristic pavilions, which are connected to the substructure by means of open stairwells. In these pavilions the canteens are situated on the roof; the canteen and its adjacent wooden terrace guarantees the coherence between the school building and the roof garden.
The roof landscape emphatically separates itself from the school buildings and is designed as a lush undulating grassy landscape; it has significance as an open area and meeting place. The layout conjures up an illusion of nature and openness by likewise undulating, recessed, reddish-brown planes of rubber granulate in-between the grassy planes. The artistic expression emphasizes the margin between high and low, and the merging of nature and culture; the grass transforms in respect of the shape, size and materials. A landscape of oversized culms comes about where one can either withdraw from the bustle or specifically create encounters; ‘the crib field’. This effect is boosted by convex mirrors, which are placed on top of curved stems in the fields of culms.