Text description provided by the architects. IJburg: new island, new neighbourhood, new education. For IJburg College, an opportunity to structure the education as effectively as possible in the new accommodation under the motto “learning in a learning community.” IJburg College is a community school with a diverse intersectoral curriculum for preparatory secondary vocational education and enhanced language, art, culture and sports programmes at the senior general secondary and pre-university education levels, with intensive cooperation with various expertise centres.
The structure comprises three sub-schools in order to preserve the small-scale character, with one school for each two school years. The building is more than a school, however; it also provides the neighbourhood with room for a café, theatre, gym, health centre and underground parking. LIAG took the initiative to propose adding housing to the plans for the sizeable lot, which was initially zoned for the school and gym only, effectively meeting the requirements set out in urban development preconditions for a tall, substantial building on the corner of IJburglaan and Pampuslaan.
The additional housing programme comprising approximately 80 homes (23 above the school and 57 on the square) creates “residual land value” on a lot that was originally listed as having “zero.” Working closely with the city, a two-part design was chosen: a small, closed building block for housing only, and a public square on which the school is situated. Consequently, the school regains its autonomy and becomes a recognisable anchor in the surroundings.
In the process of working out the details of the facade, a deliberate choice was made to give the complex a single identity. Made of folded metal panels, the unique exterior boldly stands out amongst the brick and smooth faces of the neighbouring buildings.
The folds cause the sun to reflect differently throughout the day, creating a dynamic appearance that is visible even from considerable distances. The project in IJburg is an autonomous, recognisable and compact building on a compact lot. The compact aspect of the building reduces the exterior area, which effectively reduces energy loss.