The Sweelinck College (former Hoogere Burgerschool by E.A.C. Roest) is housed in the so-called Museum Quarter (Metsustraat/ Moreelsestraat) in three monumental buildings from around 1900. The main building and the separate gym rooms lie around the same inner court. It is a medium size school for the ‘vmbo’, with extra attention for the arts. Overdue maintenance and logistic problems, because of the increased number of students, were the reason for a large scale renovation and expansion of the school.
Renovation and expansion
The main reason for the large scale renovation was the lack of space, the unbalanced distribution of the school in the two buildings and the annex across the street, with the logistic problems this creates for the coming and going of students (between main building and gym rooms). The auditorium was too small and across the street, so the students had to go back and forth a lot, which also caused nuisance for the neighborhood.
The school building had a lot of overdue maintenance on the roofs, facades, windows and outdated installations. The buildings did no longer meet the present day fireguard, ventilation, work conditions and school demands. For the city of Amsterdam the quality and age of both buildings was enough reason to reserve an amount of funding. The preservation of an educational institution in the inner city was considered of high value.
Plan of approach
Because of our experiences with underground building for the Amsterdam Lyceum we were asked in 2004 make a fitting design. The solution for an expansion of the school was again found underground; a large half deepened auditorium with extra dressing rooms, toilets and storage space in the inner court with on top a beautiful decorative roof on height with the windows.
the school is now directly accessible through this deepened auditorium, which will be the main passage for most of the students; this way they can stay indoors. The gym rooms are also accessible from underground.
The buildings have had a thorough renovation; the monumentalp arts (as the roof slates) were restored/renewed and roof chapels and a invalid lift were placed. The building now has flexible wall systems, wireless data- and computer facilities for all spaces, fire alarm systems, fire resisting facades, a brand new ventilation system and the windows have double glass.
Through these actions not only the school benefitted, but the whole neighborhood.