LIAG wins tender for the construction of Vakcollege Thamen

Friday Feb 23, 2024

Vakcollege Thamen in Uithoorn (The Netherlands) is on the eve of a new chapter, with the design for a brand-new building. And that is necessary. The current accommodation, dating back to the 1950s, is plagued by technical issues. With the victory of the architect selection, it is now up to LIAG to realize this design for the new construction. This future educational facility, including sports facilities, will accommodate 700 students and 100 staff members. These vmbo students enjoy learning practically and together. LIAG therefore creates a context-rich learning environment that not only suits them but also promotes social interaction.

Learning by doing
The school's motto 'learning by doing' takes shape in the new building. As Thomas Bögl explains: “The current learning environment is beloved by both students and teachers. Therefore, we incorporate the strong elements into the design, such as the layout of each domain. Students have the freedom to choose their own learning space. And they can exhibit their work. This is crucial. Not only to ensure that the vocational students enjoy going to school but also to ensure that they are proud of their achievements.” Along the so-called Thamen Boulevard, which runs as a main route through the building, the various domains find their place. “This is intentional,” Esther Klausen explains. “The view of the practical classrooms with displays will stimulate the curiosity of the students and encourage them to try out new subjects.” This boulevard will be a bustling place. And such an environment perfectly aligns with the youth's experience.

A context-rich learning environment
Another important aspect of the design is creating an environment in which students feel comfortable and can perform optimally. School should be enjoyable. “We ensure a clear layout, a good mix of spaces for practical education and theoretical subjects, and a variety of opportunities for individual or collaborative learning, as well as a pleasant break area. At the same time, we aim for a natural transition from vibrancy on the ground floor to tranquility on the upper floors,” Esther explains. “We also work with strategically placed sightlines. This allows students to see what's happening around them, while residents get an impression of the activities taking place behind the facade. They can – for example – catch a glimpse of the artworks in the gallery, enjoy a meal in the restaurant or on the terrace, or have their bike repaired in the workshop. The sports hall also serves a community function. It contributes to a sense of connectedness.”

A sustainable educational building
Furthermore, sustainability is a top priority for LIAG. “We aim for an energy-neutral building and ensure a healthy indoor climate. For this purpose, we apply a range of measures: We design a compact building, consider orientation, and incorporate overhangs where necessary. This has a positive effect on energy consumption. Additionally, we make maximum use of natural daylight,” Thomas explains. “And where possible, it's even visible: How much energy do the PV panels generate? And how much energy does the school consume? We display this in real-time. Furthermore, we make the sustainable energy provisions accessible to the students.” The design will provide Vakcollege Thamen with the necessary flexibility for the future. “This way, the building can easily adapt to changing educational concepts, teacher needs, and student numbers.”

In the coming period, LIAG will translate this vision into a fitting design.

Curious about an architecture story that will make you happy?

get in touch