Montessori College Oost, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Herman Hertzberger

Herman Hertzberger,



Steel, Glass, Bricks,

Project: Herman Hertzberger
Location: Amsterdam East, The Netherlands.
Purpose: senior secondary school for 1200-1600 students
Construction dates: 1993-1999
Awards received: School Building Prize 2000

Montessori College Oost, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Herman Hertzberger The building, about a hundred metres long, consists of two rectangular bodies with a strongly longitudinal development, which intersect to create the vast central hall where all the routes come together.
The lower of the two buildings houses workshops, common areas and plants, while the classrooms are arranged herringbone fashion along the higher building, in which the intersection with the hall is emphasised even on the upper floors by a ramp/staircase of outstanding design.
With this feature Herzberger invents a new type of vertical link, which sets out as a rather steep ramp to take on the features of a true staircase as it rises upward; but its unique feature lies in the architect's creation of landings where a couple of people can stop at a time and seven large "balcony-classrooms" which look like large, cosy wooden "pockets".
These hybrid spaces serve to "invent" a new way of teaching too, in that all the common areas can actually be used as informal classrooms.

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