Project12,000 sq. m. secondary education
LocationUtrecht, the Netherlands
ClientWerkplaats Kindergemeenschap


Particularly for children and adolescents, it can be intrusive to be always surrounded by sensible, right-minded, well-intentioned adults – teachers and parents alike – who have only your best interests in mind, yet who, in their attempt to be understanding and empathetic, manage to stifle any impulse for unruliness or rebellion. It stands to reason, then, that teenagers are not necessarily thrilled at the idea of a school building that has been carefully crafted to appeal to their sensibilities.

This is precisely why the Werkplaats building does not resemble a school (although it doesn’t look like anything else either) and indeed it is no ordinary school, as it has abandoned the concept of traditional classroom teaching altogether. Instead of the hallways lined with identical-looking classrooms that we see in most school buildings, the building accommodates different volumes and functions, with rooms that lead into one another.

Due to its versatility, Werkplaats does not present a uniform appearance but is instead agile and adaptive to the circumstances. In this type of setting, the lack of a clear facade or main entrance makes complete sense.