Sterrenschool

A physical connection

between the Brink and the school is made in the form of a pedestrian bridge, which ensures a save route to the Brink without crossing a traffic route.

On the other side

is the official entrance to the school and day care, positioned on the ground floor.

 This is the side

where car traffic, parking and pick-up takes place.

The large patio

provides a protected outdoor-space for young children.

The walled courtyard

of the building gives a special atmosphere to the surrounding public space.

The building layout

is approached entirely from the point of view of a child, so that they are offered a maximum of opportunities and challenges.

Most of the brickwork

consists of Flemish brick bond, which is traditionally common in this region.

This historical bond has been given a contemporary twist by replacing all of the small headstones with a darker industrial type of brick.

In some parts the small headstones are completely removed, generating what is known as Brazilian masonry bond.

The Sterrenschool is located on the border between the neighbourhood Gentiaan and Sonniuspark in Son en Breugel, a village in the southern part of the Netherlands. This border is designed as a Brink, an open area of grass, surrounded by trees, where the two neighbourhoods meet.

The integration of the Sterrenschool at the Brink has been established in a careful manner. Due to a smart building design with a patio for the youngest children, the grass of the brink can continue up to the exterior walls of the building. The older kids find in the Brink a perfect natural playground, which links the school and the brink. This connection is made physically in the form of a pedestrian bridge, which ensures that the children can safely walk back and forth to the Brink without crossing a traffic route. The bridge was designed by Dutch artist Frank Havermans, as an expressive form of wood and Cortensteel, that literally leans on the brick building.

The Sterrenconcept is based on an intense integration of education and day-care. This is expressed into five stars: extensive opening hours, children learn in one environment, custom-made programs for every child, emphasis on reading, writing and calculation, and finally an active relation with the surroundings. Because of these specific features, an important step was the introduction of bigger domains, in which various activities can take place, instead of the classical classrooms. Furthermore, a variety of spaces is provided: playroom, theatre, studio, restaurant, studio, laboratory, open-learning centre and finally a reflection unit.

The sculptural design of the building is clad in a brick skin. Most of the masonry consists of Flemish brick bond, which is traditionally common in this region. This historical bond has been given a contemporary twist by replacing all of the small headstones with a darker industrial type of brick. This relatively simple operation results in a completely different facade. In some parts -for example the courtyard- the small headstones are completely removed, generating what is known as Brazilian masonry bond. A simple procedure that makes a world of difference, providing the children with a challenging environment that invites to discover.

Credits

Project Name: Sterrenschool

Location: Son – Holland

Client: PlatOO Schoolbestuur / Korein

Program: Primary school, childcare

Design: 2013

Completion: 2016

Floor Area: 1308 m²

Design Bridge: Frank Havermans

Photocredit: BASE Photography

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