Jenaplanschool "Het Mooiste Blauw"

In the village of Nuenen, in the south of the Netherlands, a new residential area has been established; Nuenen-West. On a central location connected to a green zone, a remarkable school has been designed.

The school

is remarkable due to its educational concept, Jenaplan, but also due to its building.

The courses

do not take place in classrooms, but in home rooms and work squares. Exercise takes place in the green zone in front of the school or, in case of bad weather, in “de deel” – referring to the characteristic gap at traditional farmhouses – which could also serve as a location for the weekly Jenaplan festivities.

In many contemporary school buildings

it seems like the outside world is not allowed to be on display. Bothersome light, sound, heat and cold are kept outside and replaced by installations.

In the new design

for ‘t Mooiste Blauw, a connection to the outside world is the central theme.

In the middle of two class blocks

one can find “de deel”, which consists of an indoor and an outdoor area. In these rooms, the outside world literally comes inside and all senses will be stimulated.

One can enter

the indoor area through the outdoor area, where the school animals live. This area has been designed as a roofed outdoor area that offers protection rather than chasing everyone inside. This location is suitable for more physically oriented activities and festivities. In addition, the class blocks can be entered from the indoor area.

The Oppenwetse Watermolen

was the source of inspiration for this design. This building on the outskirts of Nuenen has been immortalized by Van Gogh in several of his paintings and has been a part of the collective memory of Nuenen for many years. This watermill has been analysed meticulously and transformed into the new school.

A lot attention

has been given to the proportions and the appearance, including details like the shades and the rainwater supply. With its dark wooden façades and its large tiled roofs, the school will be the most important landmark in the area, just like the watermill is currently.


Project Name: Jenaplanschool “Het Mooiste Blauw”

Location: Nuenen – Holland

Client: Platoo – Stichting voor openbaar en algemeen toegankelijk onderwijs 

Program: Primairy education and daycare

Design: 2016

Completion: 2019

Floor area: 1218m2

Interior architect: Puur Sang Interieurconcepten bv

Projectmanagement: Laride – Hart voor huisvesting

Engineer & Build team: Bouwbedrijf Van Stiphout

Photocredit: BASE Photography

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