unique Collaboration within a Vocational College (VMBO)

Vocational College Leystede

The Vocational college (VMBO) Boerhavelaan is located in the Houtkwartier, Leiden. This collaboration of special and regular secondary education within one building is unique to The Netherlands. Within this new school, pupils of three schools will learn and work together in the near future. The pupils of the VMBO departments are from the Bonaventura college, of the Visser ‘t Hooft Lyceum and of the special VMBO-education of the Mytyl School De Thermiek.

Photography: Ben Vulkers

Educational building for vocational college (VMBO) with gym

Foundation Confessional Education Leiden


Education at this location supports approximately 650 students in discovering and developing their own personal talents, making the school at the center of society. Special education is integrated into regular education and contains several lifts that give access to the building so that all students can participate. The building itself is arranged in clusters where project-based, practical education is offered. In addition, various companies and social organizations are housed in and around the school. In this way the pupils can get to know their future field of work and immediately put what they have learned into practice.

Open and flexible

The building has an open structure. The various clusters have been given their own place, as have the several types of teaching rooms: from individual study places to group rooms and from theory room to practice room. All these spaces are designed to be used flexibly and therefore suitable to be used in various educational activities. At the same time, they are always connected to communal spaces. Because of this the students are always in contact with each other. The whole building is light. Daylight falls deep into the building through three large voids.

Relationship with the environment

The building fits in with the surrounding existing buildings. The building volumes vary in height and the façade uses brick in two different colors. Furthermore, the diversity in façades seen in the neighborhood is reflected in the façade of the building: the façade openings differ in frame type and size.

The difference in format is also functional. On the one hand, the large openings -especially at the corners of the building- open the world to the pupils and additionally to local residents who get an idea of activities that take place. On the other hand, small window openings can be found where students have to concentrate on assignments.

Sustainable - zero energy use- off gas

It is the school’s ambition to realize zero energy use ( ‘Zero on the energy meter’) and this without connection to the gas network. To achieve a net energy consumption of zero, the building is equipped with, among other things, thick insulation, triple glazing, good cracking, LED lighting and various installations that generate energy. These sustainable energy facilities are visible in the school and accessible to the students. In this way students gain insight into or even learn to work with these installations. In case more energy is generated than consumed, the surplus will be delivered to the neighborhood.

bakstenen gevel met variërende hoogtes in bouwvolumes van VMBO Boerhavenlaan in het houtkwartier in Leiden met daarvoor een grasveld

Bouwbedrijf Huurman Leiden (aannemer), Vintis installatieadviseurs (adviseur installaties), van der Vorm engineering (adviseur constructie), ZRi (bouwfysica)

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