Herman Hertzberger has been an inspiration for our work in designing schools, and periodically I like to check out his latest work. One of his skills I admire is the way he structures spaces to support social interaction, particularly to subtly suggest desired activities.
The Waterrijk primary school in Eindhoven is located in a housing project also designed by Hertzberger, and is notable for the interior public spaces surrounding the classrooms.
In many of our own projects, we are looking for new ways to articulate the spaces outside of formal teaching spaces to support informal learning and socializing. Here, of interest are the varied ways built-in elements create inviting areas for students to interact with their learning and each other.
Tiered levels, study counters, art storage, writable walls, display surfaces and large group gathering zones are all well integrated to create a vibrant atmosphere, replacing the traditional long dark locker lined corridors.
Courtyards are scattered throughout the plan to bring in daylight to the public spaces and provide areas for outdoor learning.