LocationAmbachtsweg 2, 7943 AE Meppel, Netherlands
Architects in ChargeDorte Kristensen, Christina Kaiser, Ronald Peters
Interior ArchitectThijs Klinkhamer
CollaboratorsPaul Vlaar, Karho Yeung, Emile Jansen, Ron Bruin, Xander Stilting, Robert Witteman, Bart van der Meer, Henk de Haan, Joris Coenen
Text description provided by the architects. The Ezinge education park is located in Meppel extending from the Ezinge residential neighbourhood, between the railway and cluster of sports fields. The elongated, bronze-tinted buildings accommodate five secondary schools and a sports complex. A new street, Dahliastraat, separates the school from the residences, and also enables the neighbourhood to end with a new row of dwellings.
Orientated perpendicular to the railway, the relatively narrow bands of buildings span between Ambachtsweg and Ezingerweg. This horizontal division, which also varies subtly in height, splits the building mass visually into smaller volumes. This connects the buildings better with the smaller scale of the adjacent residential neighbourhood. The integrated complex features a multi-storey building called the Hart van Ezinge, which serves as a landmark for the education park.
The entrances of the three large schools and auditoriums are placed in glass sections positioned between the bronze bands. Contrast in material and transparency lend the entrances an inviting quality. The entrances of the two special schools are facing the park which connects the school and sports complex . The design of the sports complex echoes the elongated form of the main buildings. Connected to the sports fields and green banks of Reest creek, the elevated complex accommodates bicycle parking and car park underneath.
Although the schools operate independently with their own classrooms and open areas for working, they are mutually connected by shared workshops for practical subjects. The technical workshops are strategically placed along the new Dahliastraat; in this way, the students can showcase their work to the public. The classrooms for hospitality subjects front a terrace in the park. Visible from a distance is the multi-storey building with theatre and dance hall, and classrooms for art and music.
A building containing shared facilities for five different schools must be united by a clear concept. A central waterfall stair that cascades along voids and dynamic walkways form a true architectural route through the building.
With its glimmering tints of bronze, the building has a striking appearance. Light bounces from the distinctive facade cassettes made of anodised aluminium, both flat and sloped. The ribbed aluminium panels on the plinth form a light-coloured band that wraps around the building. The tower landmark stands out through the colour full artwork . A limited range of windows was specified for the facade, their deep reveals and playful arrangement contribute to the building’s lively appearance.