Metzo College, a school designed by Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects, has opened in the Netherlands.
The school, at Doetinchem in the east of the country, resembles a ziggurat with a scooped-out core containing gardens.
Last week the building won the Dutch National School Building Award (Scholenbouwprijs) in the higher education category.
We are waiting for more photos of the completed building; meanwhile, here are some shots taken last year, before the landscaping was finished (update: see more photos here).
Below is EEA's statement on the school:
Metzo College Doetinchem
"The new Metzo College, located in Doetinchem, a City in the East of the Netherlands, houses a school for vocational education as well as public sport facilities. The new building replaces three existing school buildings. On a total gross floor area of 16.000 m2 the school accommodates 1.300 students between ages 12 to 16. The school offers a range of technical and theoretical courses, including health and welfare education.
"The project has been initiated in order realise a building which offers space for education and provides for better social cohesion between the different student groups that exist within the vocational education system. The integration of the publicly accessible sports facilities increases the social character of the school and makes it an educational building with an unusually public character.
"The building is located in an open green area. The main design objective was to preserve the existing open surroundings as much as possible. This resulted in a compact pyramid shaped building, which integrates into, and respects the surrounding landscape. In addition, the compact building mass also optimises the internal planning and orientation within the building and it enhances the social aspect of this type of education. The concept comprises a compact volume of 6 storeys.
"The landscape has been raised to allow for the main entrance to be located on the third level. This central location optimises the students circulation within the building. From this entrance visitors have access to other public functions such as the restaurant and the gym.
"A large patio, placed above the entrance level, cuts the floor. The placement of the patio, which is hanging from the roof, allows daylight to enter into the building. It furthermore allows for clear orientation within the building.
"The gym, which is designed as a “black box", is located on the lower levels with the entrance beneath the raised landscape.
"On the typical floor plans, open study areas, individual study corners and workstations for teachers are located along the patio. Classrooms are located along the façade of the building. This results in a flexible layout in which real life situations can be simulated. The goal was to offer identifiable workspaces for students and teachers and to allow for efficient use of space with a maximum of flexibility.
"The result is a compact building with a strong identity within the landscape. The building is inviting on the one hand and provides a sense of security on the other."