Montessori College Oost
Herman Hertzberger
Polderweg 3, 1093 KL Amsterdam, 1993-2000

Una scuola per l’istruzione secondaria è popolata da bambini di un’età in cui solitamente si preferisce uscire di casa ogni volta che se ne ha l’occasione, per passare il tempo con i propri coetanei; qualcosa che sono più propensi a fare per la strada che a scuola. Presso il Collegio Montessori di Amsterdam Oost sono iscritti alunni di 56 differenti nazionalità, la maggior parte di loro hanno difficoltà ad adattarsi e spesso sono poco motivati, anche a causa di una scarsa conoscenza della lingua olandese. Lo lo spazio di questa scuola è stato pertanto organizzato in modo da evocare similitudini con l’ambito urbano: un luogo dell’attraversamento, dell’incontro e dell’assemblea.

Il layout di questa scuola da 1200 a 1600 alunni procede da questo paradigma per amalgamare il più possibile lo spazio delle aule con l’area “urbana” degli spazi comuni. Il risultato è una grande piazza, legata spazialmente al vuoto del blocco aule, che evita quasi completamente ogni compartimentazione degli spazi.

La parte anteriore e quella posteriore di questo edificio lungo cento metri sono sfalsate tra loro di mezzo piano, al fine di minimizzare la distinzione percettiva tra i livelli dell’edificio e migliorare la comunicazione tra le diverse componenti fisiche e organizzative della scuola. Tutte le aree di studio si affacciano su una singola sala comune, che si estende per l’intera lunghezza e altezza dell’edificio e gode di una illuminazione naturale dall’alto: un’arteria del traffico interno alla scuola, uno spazio sociale dal carattere urbano, che gli alunni ‘abitano’ per tutto il corso dell’anno nello spostarsi da un’aula all’altra a seconda del periodo didattico. Le scale tra i livelli sono deliberatamente sovradimensionate, così da poter essere utilizzate come gradoni di un anfiteatro. Qui possono essere tenute lezioni  fuori delle aule; ma sono anche luoghi ideali per l’incontro tra gli studenti, che vi sono naturalmente attratti.

 

A school for secondary education is populated by children of an age when generally speaking they prefer to get out of the house whenever they can to hang out with others of their age; something they are more likely to do in the street than at school. Not Only that, at the Montessori College there are no less than 56 nationalities, most of which have difficulty adapting and often little motivation, not least because they speak a little or no Dutch.

For that reason alone we should be designing schools that make a less hair-raising of passages that most closely recalls hospitals and the like.

However, we architects have scarcely any influence on the actual teaching, we can try to make the setting in which this is done as inviting as possible. In view of all mental effort required of them, pupils should be made to feel as much at home as there as in their familiar stamping ground: the city. Consequently we have organised the space of this school so that it conjures up associations with the city; a wide range of places with a multitude of possibilities where you can hang around, assemble or meet up.

The emphasis here is very much on performances, parties, handiwork and artistic offerings, as well as all things that can take place there outside school hours. In organising the layout of this school of 1200 to 1600 pupils we deliberately proceeded from this city paradigm by amalgamating as much as possible of the space beyond the containment of the classrooms into a large ‘urban’ area. The upshot is a large plaza, linked spatially to the void of the classrooms block. We were successful in almost entirely avoiding compartmentalising the ‘collective’ area; so there are no self-closing doors to constantly remind you of an intricate branched system of internal corridors.

The front and rear of this hundred-metre-long building are shifted a half-storey. This downplays the distinction between floors and makes for better communication between different physical and organisational components of the school. The difference in height needing to be bridged is then a mere half-level; it also improves visual relations between one level and another. All study areas overlook a single communal hall. Extending the entire length and height of the building and naturally lit from above, this is the internal traffic artery. This ‘social space’ has a streetlike character. In a set-up where the pupils change classrooms from one period to the next, they move like nomads through the building continually ‘visiting’ and with no territory of their own. It is this very area, then, that should be inviting.

The stairs between levels are deliberately made broad like seating in an amphitheatre here lessons can be held outside the classrooms; they are also ideal places for pupils to meet, drawing them there like a magnet. For that matter, wherever there are steps in the city you can see just how popular such informal short-term seating is. Stairs, landings, voids and open spaces everywhere are so related spatially as to express to the full the presence there of others, inviting encounters and impromptu discussions.

 


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ALTRE INFORMAZIONI

Superficie utile: 16.345 mq
Scuola secondaria per 1400 ragazzi


BIBLIOGRAFIA

Hertzberger, Herman. Herman Hertzberger: Articulations. Prestel, 2002, ISBN 3791327917.

De Swaan, Abram. The Schools of Herman Hertzberger. 010 publishers, 2013, ISBN 9064506469.