Openluchtschool

Openluchtschool

Architect
Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten
Location
Goirle, Netherlands | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Housing
Michel Kievtis

Openluchtschool

Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten as Architects

In the 1950’s Jos. Bedaux designed the Open Air School in Goirle. The school, designed for children with chronic respiratory disease, is a key work in his oeuvre. The school provided open-air sleeping and teaching areas.

 

More than 70 years later, Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten has been given the opportunity to transform the building into seven luxurious homes. The starting point of the transformation is to preserve the valuable architectural elements, such as the modest brick facade at the front and the open-air gallery on the first floor.

 

The open-air school is situated in a wooded area as part of a larger school complex. The building is turned in relation to the adjoining avenue and buildings and therefore occupies a quirky but self-evident place among the large trees.

 

The building has a comb structure, with a higher brick volume as a connecting element with a series of separate classrooms and inner courtyards. In this way, the classrooms are connected to the surrounding forest on three sides. In the past, these classrooms could be fully opened by means of large glass folding walls. The open classrooms are in stark contrast to the modest closed masonry main volume. The courts in between also functioned as "classrooms" in the open air.

 

The challenge of the design was to respect this contrast between the different building parts. Only a number of front doors have been added to the masonry façade where windows were located. The original main entrance in this volume is now the entrance to "one" of the houses. In addition to the entrances, the secondary functions are located on this closed facade. The living areas and gardens are on the sunny side. Living areas have been added in the courtyards by means of a large glass facade. These new spaces and former high classrooms on this side, containing the living and dining areas, offer a spectacular view of the surrounding greenery.

 

The rooms that have been closed with brickwork over time have been reopened. The masonry facade is cemented and painted light gray, subtly distinguishing itself from the brick and concealing the many changes that have been made to these volumes.

 

There is a covered gallery on the first floor, where the children used to sleep outdoors. Sleeping quarters have been created here by means of a long glass facade, belonging to the underlying houses.

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