De Wereldburger Amsterdam Elementary School

  • area / size 32,292 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Location Amsterdam, Netherlands,
  • Moke Architecten was tasked with completing the De Wereldburger Amsterdam Elementary School to upgrade it for enhanced learning and safety in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

    A Palace for Learning and Playing
    The new school building’s spaces are open and organic; every one of them can be used for learning, playing or just to take a break. The central hall offers literal and figurative room to play in: on the large stairs, under the stairs, in front of them and on the landings. ‘Each age group has its own stairs and there’s room for every teacher to put pupils to work individually or in groups either in the classroom, between the classrooms, by the windows or in the corridors. The older children are upstairs, the smaller ones can walk right out the door, into the enclosed park.’

    Circularity as a Learning Tool
    It’s not only the old school structure that has been reused; newly introduced building materials such as floorboards, stairs, ceilings, door handles and washbasins also originate from other buildings. This school building is alive and makes the children aware of the source of materials.

    Light and Robust
    The new steel exterior façade with floor-to-ceiling windows gives the school a light and robust atmosphere. Wood dominates in the interior, with tables, chairs, cupboards, kitchen and so on designed along with the building. The 150 solar panels on the roof provide almost all of the energy needed.

    Urban Design Principles
    The existing building had been neglected over the years. Also, a high fence had been erected around the school, which made the area unfriendly and unsafe; the children literally found themselves behind bars. In consultation with the City of Amsterdam, we removed the fences. A new, wide pavement now connects the building with the public space. The school is part of the neighbourhood and links up with the public park perfectly.

    Design: Moke Architecten
    Design Team: Gianni Cito, Patrick de Weerd, Hao Tran, Mark Spijkerman, Martina Penati, Pieters Bouwtechniek, Hubert Kuipers
    Photography: Thijs Wolzak