Location: Hoogvliet, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Team: Ton Venhoeven, Cécilia Gross, Danny Esselman, Eelco Bergman, Jan Lebbink, Alexander Speelman (intern), Katarzyna Duleba (intern), Igor Začek (intern)
Area: 4,714 sqm
Photographs: Luuk Kramer
Building Physics: DGMR
Cost Calculation: Basalt Bouwadvies
Contractor: Waal Bouw
Construction: Theo Wulffraat & partners
Villa Vonk is a community school with sports hall, toddlers’ playgroup, after-school care, youth centre and welfare facilities in a multicultural community in Hoogvliet. The building is designed as an attractive meeting place and compact social centre for pupils and community residents.
It presents the appearance of a luxurious villa on ample green grounds. This setup keeps as much outdoor space as possible for an outdoor ‘square’ for school and community activities. When the expansive stairs at the top of the building are used as grandstand for these types of events, the square is instantly transformed into an amphitheatre. The playful use of tiles and colour fields in the building exterior and interior alludes to the cultural diversity of the people of the community, and adds to the surprising and inviting atmosphere.
The entrance hall to the community school is the central meeting point from which all the various functions are accessible and available. The space functions as an inner court where community activities and events are held. The multifunctional gymnasium is situated at the heart of the building. Its wood panelling gives the space a certain warmth and elegance, yet at the same time a robust feel. It also makes this a surprising and inviting space for receptions and other activities.
The school section is structured as a wing, with simple and clear layout, making it flexible for school uses and giving it maximum potential for upscaling, downsizing or cooperation. The hallways are informal meeting places, streets in a building in which each room is a ‘home.’ The wide wall between the room and the corridors neatly houses all technical facilities and functional components of the programme, which are fully integrated into it. Together, the alcove, wardrobe, window from classroom to hallway, pantry, storage spaces and technical systems make up one large, cohesive and integrated element.
Villa Vonk is a “new style” community school, in that extra attention has been given to creating a healthy and comfortable environment. It features extra high ceilings, efficient ventilation with CO2 detector and maximum use of daylight and natural ventilation. Together, these applications offer extra quality to the children and adults who use the building.