For the Anthroposophic School that was to be newly constructed in the suburb of Huizum West in Leeuwarden, the assignment involved designing a compact building with an organizing nucleus: the heart. Here, the incidence of light forms a major component. Based on anthroposophic principles, which form the basis of the school’s educational approach, the metaphor of a natural sponge was taken as the structuring tenet. It generates a link to an organic structure that does not refer to classical anthroposophic application of form but seeks new paths instead.
The layout of the building emulates the interconnecting hollows that characterize the appearance of the sponge. The sponge is a symbol for the spatial organization of the building, where the intervening areas constitute an important theme. In the design of the building, the traffic and living areas are connected to one another in a special manner, so that new user possibilities and opportunities are created. Moreover, daylight can penetrate right to the heart of the building.
A pentagram and the parcel boundaries functioned as the determining factors for the ground plan of the school. The choice in favour of the pentagram is based on a symbol from anthroposophic education, a symbol of humankind and the universe.
The contour of the school is derived from the form of the parcel and the surrounding buildings. In this plan, the pentagram consists of five organizing and constructive lines that are projected on to the contour. Turning and shifting the structure slightly enabled the required programme to be realized. Because the pentagram is oriented inward while the structure simultaneously opens outward, the boundaries between the suburb and the school become blurred and a hospitable interior is created.
Architect: Onix Architects
Design Team: Allart Vogelzang, Alex van de Beld, Wouter Stoer, Karlijn Toebast & René Harmanni
Gross floor surface area: around 1165 sqm
Project Year: 2010 Photographer: Peter van der Knoop