Dr Schaepman primary school, Barendrecht

A school

like a house

Dr Schaepman primary school, Barendrecht

Dr. Schaepman school is beautifully located on a green site in Barendrecht. The school with annex was located in an old premises which leaked in various sections and was dated in many ways.

The brief was clear: to design a renewed school with a compact form within the existing contours, that fits into the surroundings regarding its scale and volume and allowed children to learn and play in plenty of light, space and green.

At two-storeys high, the school connects to the larger volumes in the surroundings such as the church, sports hall and shopping centre. The building reduces its volume where it needs to connect to a smaller scale e.g. to neighbouring houses.

House with a living room and suites
The school is designed as a big house. The assembly hall is envisioned as the living room that connects the clusters from the lower, middle and upper primary school groups. The light-filled classrooms feature large living room windows with wide window seats. Children can nestle themselves here with a good book or just play. There is also a large wall of cupboards with a pantry. The classrooms are connected like suites around shared learning areas. The coat racks are intentionally placed in the corridors and not in the shared learning areas. To maintain the intimate scale every cluster has its own shared learning area, bathrooms and entrance. Space here is fully utilised – leftover space is maximised for storage and a reading/chill/retreat is situated under the stairs.

Two-sided stage
A sense of togetherness and celebration are important aspects of the Jenaplan education approach taught at the Dr. Schaepman school. The double-height assembly hall with a stage, accommodates this perfectly. The stage faces both inwards and outwards so that outdoor presentations can also be held during fine weather. Connecting the assembly hall to the adjacent play room creates space for all students. Children can also watch on from the first floor balcony.

The assembly hall is visible from the outside through a glazed curtain wall. The facades are made of light yellow brickwork. Like the surrounding houses, the school has large windows arranged rhythmically across the facade. Above the windows Brazilian brickwork creates a play of shadows and simultaneously conceals the decentralised ventilation units for air supply and discharge. A pergola ends the volume on the first floor – here will be a roof terrace for outdoor classes.

Indoor climate
The common areas are equipped with floor heating and classrooms have air heating. Ventilation is determined by C02 sensors and the lighting system responds to occupancy and daylight sensors. Solar panels are placed on the roof.
With atelier PRO’s design Dr. Schaepman school has gained a light and friendly school building with an intimate, homely atmosphere.

  • Exterior (photo Luuk Kramer)
  • exterior (photo Luuk Kramer)
  • Exterior (photo Luuk Kramer)
  • Exterior (photo Luuk Kramer)
  • Hall (photo: Luuk Kramer)
  • Hall (photo: Luuk Kramer)
  • Hall and mezzanine (photography Luuk Kramer)
  • Multipurpose area (photo: Luuk Kramer)
  • Multipurpose area (Photo: Luuk Kramer)
  • Classroom (photo: Luuk Kramer)
  • atelier PRO
  • Building in its surroundings