De Kort Van Schaik.

Reviving Kottenpark

Stedelijk Lyceum Kottenpark was designed in the 1950s by Kuiper, Gouwetor, De Ranitz & Bleeker as part of a new postwar neighbourhood of Enschede. To maximise the relation between the school and its green surroundings it was designed as an ensemble of four distinct buildings with an atrium building at its centre. Set up in this way, the school resembles a small city. Hallways, stairwells and atrium very much function in the same way as alleys, streets and squares: they make the school work logistically, form spaces to see and be seen and offer a pleasant place to stay for a while.

Today the pupil population has doubled and several interventions cluttered the hallways with additional functions, often causing overloads of the spaces between the classrooms. Now the buildings are up for a thorough renovation, the opportunity arises to regain the qualities of the original configuration. Since no further increase of pupils is expected, the school needs to optimise the existing ensemble without expanding it.

The key to the transformation lies in the large basement underneath the atrium. By opening it up, the hart of the ensemble can expand and revive. By adding plants, lockers, benches and tables a place to meet, eat and study is created. The adjoining unused lawn is activated by a new outdoor space. This new sunken square with its stepped slope offers a perfect place to sit in the sun and can also be used as an outdoor theatre.
The space between the buildings is cleared and substituted with an uniform facade and structure. These in-between building parts provide room for study and the school library.
With the upgraded hart and backbone the different buildings can be reorganised for the different educational subjects, of which science, art, dance and theatre form important components. The regained openness makes each of them clearly visibly in the school. Transformed from the inside out, the school can renew its relations and usage of the green surroundings.

The proposal was part of a research by design project carried out by Stichting Mevrouw Meijer. The goal if this foundation is to improve the architectural quality of school buildings through revaluation and renovation of existing school buildings. 

Enschede, the Netherlands
Secondary school, renovation
concept design
Stichting Mevrouw Meijer, Stedelijk Lyceum Kottenpark