The dialogue between the two buildings, can be felt both inside and outside. The expansion partly deepened to encroach the monument is not too much. The materialization of the new building refers to a barn by applying wood substructures, caps and wooden parts for wall cladding.
The barn houses all the classrooms and the library. Because of the inclined slope even the lower floors receive enough daylight. The classrooms are characterized by the entry of natural light, the use of healthy materials and the direct relationship with the surrounding landscape.
In farmhouse are located the administrative functions of the school a lunch room for 100 children, a kitchen, a nursery and a local labor. The sports facilities are housed in a separate building. It contains a gymnasium, changing rooms, a canteen and the clubhouse of the local handball association. The building is designed as two interlocking volumes with sloping green roofs, matching the shape of the extension and rural character of the area. A large window is placed in the gymnasium overlooking the connecting bridge to the main building and offers insight from the school and outside play areas.
Around the school there are several playgrounds to suit the different age groups. They are designed by design studio Van Ginneken with greenery, seating and educational components such as a vegetable garden.
Hedges, wooden fences and gentle slopes locks provide a friendly separation between the different squares. In an adjacent site parking there are gravel pavement and rows of trees between the parking.
The building is fully integrated into the environment and the surrounding landscape. The design of the landscape is based on the objectives of the school. A healthy environment where young children playfully learn why sustainability matters. By using water, natural materials and to show how energy is generated children come in a natural way in contact with this theme. The building makes use of solar energy, LED fixtures, cold and heat storage, wastewater reuse and cradle to cradle materials such as Accoya cladding.
Early Childhood Centre. American School of The Hague
Wassenaar, The Netherlands
Principle architect: Hans Goverde
Team: Annemiek Bleumink, Laurence Meulman, Patrick Keijzer en Nol van den Boer
Client: American School of The Hague
Photography: Ronald Tilleman