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BUILDING
 
 
Onze Droomschool
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DESIGNER
 
 
Mecanoo
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DESCRIPTION
 
A dream is fulfilled
Mecanoo Onze Droomschool DordrechtThe district of Sterrenburg is located on the south side of Dordrecht and was largely built during the 1960s and 1970s. It is a sizable district with 21,000 residents and a generous share of parks, gardens and other green areas; it is also very close to the historical natural conservancy areas on the ‘Island’ of Dordrecht. The new building for Onze Droomschool [Our dream school] will be built on the northern edge of the area on the De Sitterstraat. The school’s charming name covers five separate branches of education, care and medical science. De Vlij is a ‘Mytyl’ school for children with a physical disability or multiple disabilities, the Blije Gaarde, a school for children with serious learning issues and the Dordtse Buitenschool for children with long-term illnesses. These schools all collaborate in their new premises with the care support body Gemiva-SVG Group and the Rijndam revalidation centre. The fact that these different institutions are housed in the same premises has many positive features. It means that Onze Droomschool is relevant for children right from birth and that they are under constant supervision by the different professional fields. Pupils can for instance have physiotherapy during school hours, while play areas, the mediatheque and other practical training studios can also be used for preschool and after-school activities. Onze Droomschool is intended as a safe, friendly and welcoming home where children can learn and play, meet each other, convalesce and develop.
Four houses
Mecanoo Onze Droomschool Dordrecht‘‘Human scale’ – that is the key idea in Mecanoo’s design for Onze Droomschool. By splitting the building up into a family of little brick houses it reflects the typical saddleback roofs in the vicinity of the school. The ‘Partnerhuis’, ‘Onderbouwhuis’ [junior classes], ‘Bovenbouwhuis’ [senior classes] and ‘Sporthuis’ all have their own individual colour of brick making them easily recognizable for the children, some of whom have problems with finding their bearings. Classifying things at a cognitive level means that the child’s handicap plays no role in the composition of the group. As fits the school’s philosophy, the children in the ZMLK [severe learning problems], Mytyl and LZ [long-term illnesses] sections learn from and support each other. They feel safe and at home in their ‘own houses’. Transparent glass zones with the canteen, mediatheque and music studio and other spaces link up the different houses. Mecanoo aimed for quality and visual simplicity in the building’s finish. Gutters and window frames are concealed. The brown, orange and pale yellow bricks are made in traditional fashion. Mossedum roofs not only give the school a green atmosphere; they also have a positive impact on the biodiversity and water management of the structures.
Massivholz
Mecanoo Onze Droomschool DordrechtFor the school’s main support structure an unDutch building material was resorted to, namely massivholz. All the walls and floors/ceilings consist of a prefabricated softwood frame. This extremely sustainable CO2-neutral material has a damp-regulating function, good insulating properties and sufficient volume to provide thermal storage – making it highly effective in managing the indoor climate. The wood creates a warm atmosphere in the school, providing a pleasing, calm study environment without any distracting stimuli. A large part of the interior is included in the wood frame. Reception areas, stairs, banisters, cupboards and open shelving, shutters and doors are all implemented in this solid wood. Onze Droomschool is a bright and airy school with a decentralized air conditioning system. A good fresh air supply and acoustics and plenty of daylight make for a fresh well-lit school building where the pupils can concentrate but where there is also room for play and movement.
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
Netherlands [Nederland]
Region
Zuid-Holland
Region
Zuid-Holland Zuid
Town
Dordrecht
Address
Sitterstraat 7
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Education buildings
Schools
Other education centres
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2010 - 2011    
Realisation
2011 - 2012
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CLIENT
 
 
SPON (Stichting Speciaal Onderwijs Drechtsteden e.o.), Dordrecht
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
sq.m. 5322
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STRUCTURES
 
 
JVZ Raadgevend Ingenieursburo bv, Deventer
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STAFF
 
Project management
ICS Adviseurs, Amsterdam
Mechanical engineer
DHV, Den Haag
Electrical engineer
DHV, Den Haag
Quantity surveyor
Bremen Bouwadviseurs b.v., Rotterdam
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CREDITS
 
 
Images © Mecanoo architecten
Text edited by Mecanoo architecten
Courtesy by Mecanoo architecten
Mecanoo Onze Droomschool Dordrecht

 
If you haven't already clicked on the photo strip at the top of the page, for the gallery of photos [4 images]
 
 
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