Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands
Both alumni of the Gymnasium Beekvliet, MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas, and co-architect Theobert van Boven revitalize and extend their old-school giving the secondary school a facelift and making the building contemporary again in terms of sustainability, including by extending its lifespan.
The main brief was to create more space for both regular school activities and additional art and cultural facilities.
The design largely consists of renovating the existing building.
This will create a challenging and stimulating learning environment for pupils and provide space for meetings and interaction.
The addition of a new auditorium to the front of the building was also required.
By extending and lowering the previous roof structure, the internal circulation of the school was closed in one flowing movement, a reference to the school’s “Beekvliet Stroomt” (“Beekvliet flows”) motto.
The new building houses the enlarged auditorium, complete with a tribune, kitchen, and flexible stage.
The main entrance remains in the same place as before the renovation, the only difference being that it will now be situated underneath the new curving roof.
The artwork on the façade was designed in collaboration with renowned Canadian visual artist Ian Kirkpatrick.
Painted on the façade is a panoramic tableau showing the memories and experiences of current and former students, teachers, and board members.
It also contains references to the surroundings and Beekvliet’s 200-plus-year history.
The paintings thus depict the school’s genesis and its connection to the world beyond.
The iconographic illustrations give the building a contemporary look and at the same time anchor the building in its surroundings.
The position of the illustrations on the facade was determined via a computer scripting technique linking each one back to its geographical location.
Project: Gymnasium Beekvliet Renovation
Lead Architects: Winy Maas and Theobert van Boven
Design Team: Gijs Rikken, Tobias Tonch, Thijs van Oostrum, Chun Hoi Hui, Michele Tavola, and Alessio Palmieri
Structural Engineers: Van de Laar
Photographers: Daria Scagliola