Due to urban developments in the city of Leiden, the Marecollege had to move to a new location. At the Sumatrastraat, an abandoned existing school building was transformed into a new school building that was fit for the Marecollege, a secondary Waldorf school with 450 students.24H was commissioned to make a design for a 3800 m2 program, partially within the existing straightforward building from the 60’s and partially in new extensions.

The design strategy that was developed was to use the newly built structures to give the existing building a new and expressive identity in the exterior as well as interior. A ‘lemniscate’ shape was added to the building, forming a new entrance guided by the organic shape, a new central hall where all the dynamism is concentrated.

The shape makes a new sign as a representative space for the school towards the public space. On the inside the special spaces like the auditorium and dance room, as well as the typical Waldorf school classes such as organic cooking, drawing, painting and textile work were placed.

The exterior cladding of the ‘lemniscate’ is made of a natural slate that runs from outside to inside, guiding the movement of the students. The U shaped main building has a brickwork facade with wooden details and in the near future Araliaceae will cover the outside. In the inner courtyard, where the central playground is located, the facade cladding is made out of profiled hardwood strips which create leaf patterns with their shadows.All 32 different classrooms have specially designed wooden ceilings and a new ‘fresh schooling’ ventilation system providing the students with necessary fresh air for maximum concentration.

Project Data