12 November 2015
School of significance
It seems so logical. When neighbourhoods change, schools change. And when schools change, neighbourhoods change. Education is vital for the social cohesion and liveability of an area. A proper school building has a positive effect on the quality of education, the social cohesion in the neighbourhood and on the health, educational results and development of pupils.
Parents and pupils therefore choose a school very consciously. More and more they prefer a special school, with specific educational means, an enthusiastic staff and interesting students. This applies to all types of education.
In relation to the ‘Week of the City’ (Week van de Stad) Guido Wallagh recently moderated a debate between students and the Amsterdam alderman. In this debate it became clear that students can very well explain why they chose their specific school and what the meaning of the building is in relation to education. In a school where students also get ballet lessons for half a day, the presence of quiet places is essential. Another school just needs spaces where students can interactively discover the subject matter of teaching.
To an architect it is a dream come true, when students can explain why a certain school building specifically fits their needs. Therefore we always attempt to let the distinctive use of a space inspire the concept and image of educational buildings. And we construct these buildings in dialog with the future users; when they recognise themselves in a building, future generations will grow up with these ideas.