The multifunctional school building ‘De Caumer’ in Hoensbroek-Zuid in Limburg, the most Southern province of the Netherlands, contains a community centre with a speech therapist, a kindergarten, and a primary school. In our design the open education concept, the sustainable ambitions of the ‘IBA Parkstad’, and the park like surrounding, are merged together. With respect to the mining history and the vision of a green future, this design brings the best of two worlds together: A building to be proud of!
The shape of ‘De Caumer’ opens onto the park and simultaneously has a representative face towards the residential district. The open facade and a playful porch enclose a green and natural playground that is in a tight connection with the ‘Caumerbeek’ park. The community functions are organised on the street side and the day care centre is positioned alongside the courtyard. All functions of ‘de Caumer’ are centred around the light central auditorium with a multifunctional tribune stairs. The playroom and the multifunctional hall of the community centre can be connected to the auditorium in different ways due to flexible walls. The open education landscapes of the lower, middle and upper grades are equipped with multifunctional and flexible furniture that can be adjusted to every educational method.
The sustainable solutions are tied to multiple functions and are made visible to function as educational tools. The entire building is timber construction where the structural parts are at the same time the finishing, this sustainable material is visible everywhere because of this. The present mine water of Hoensbroek is used as a heat exchanger for the ventilation system. ‘De Caumer’ is ventilated at night through ‘Iterson’ towers, simultaneously accentuating these as a specific educational spot in the lower and upper grades.