Client: Regional Opleidings Centrum of Amsterdam (ROCvA)
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Site: 1.8 ha
Program: Multi-functional community college: 13,000 m2 educational space, 7,000 m2 housing, 10,000 m2 public and commercial functions.
At the dawn of a new century, the role of education is increasingly being considered part of everyday urban life. It has become less a question of being traditionally isolated and more a requirement to being in the middle of the city. Added to this development is an equally increasing demand to the performance of such buildings in the city. This can be seen in the added functionality these buildings need to provide, ensuring both their daily usage and future longevity. Commissioned in 2002 by the Regional Educational Centre of Amsterdam and developers Het Oosten to research and create a concept model for a 30,000 m2 multi-functional complex, what has since then been named a ‘community college’. The location is the new centre of Amsterdam North and beside the new North/South line metro station. The study explores the new feeling within the ROC over the coming challenges of a more robust school building that can survive internal and external changes and dynamics. The findings conclude that the location and a strong architectural idea play the major role in the success of the school within this ambition. Our concept revolves around two major proposals; firstly, a ‘re-branding’ strategy positions the school in the centre of the movement flows through the site, and secondly, the development of not only a multi-functional building but also a multi-functional site. Both play a key determining role in the development of concept design for the building that cleverly takes parts of shopping mall design, traditional urban passage models and the idea of a 24 hour/7 day a week community-based building for different users at different times of the day, week and months.