contemporary vision in a familiar setting

Bonhoeffer College, Enschede

Bonhoeffer College, located on Van der Waalslaan in Enschede, The Netherlands, is currently undergoing a significant transformation. While the distinctive facade will be preserved, a modern 21st-century learning environment will be developed behind it. This sustainable renovation is essential, as the current high school is outdated both technically and functionally. LIAG's proposal aligns closely with the school's mission: "Give attention, grow into who you are, and enjoy the expedition."

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The transformation of Bonhoeffer College honors its historical roots while embracing future needs. The design enhances coherence among the various building components by removing some and introducing new ones. The result is a cohesive ensemble with a discernible rhythm. The original design, characterized by large brick sections alternating with lower transparent volumes, will be restored. Furthermore, echoing its 1958 origins, the high school will once again be nestled in a green setting, maintaining its familiar charm for students, teachers, and local residents.

"The architectural firm has deeply understood our educational vision and the essence of our school. The renovated building will be a place where our students can thrive."
Genio Ruesen, Bonhoeffer College

In addition to preserving the original appearance of Bonhoeffer College, artworks will be reintroduced into the new educational environment. This transformative renovation addresses issues such as long walking distances due to the L-shaped floor plan, the illogical division of educational and sports functions, and variations in floor height between different sections of the building. The building will be streamlined and better suited to accommodate the current student body. Sustainability measures will also ensure that the educational facility approaches nearly energy-neutral operation.

A contemporary vision in a familiar setting
LIAG's phased approach ensures that Bonhoeffer College remains operational throughout the renovation process.

The wing perpendicular to the school's oldest part, where classrooms traditionally line long, dead-end corridors, will be demolished. This measure streamlines the design and significantly reduces operating costs.

The centrally located, expansive building section, which currently houses two gymnasiums separated by locker rooms, will undergo a complete transformation into an educational space spanning multiple floors, with a media library at its core. By opening up the areas between the gymnasiums and converting them into open spaces, the design not only pays homage to the building's original sports function but also floods the interior with natural daylight, ensuring a logical layout and program consistency.

Interspersed between the solid brick sections are smaller, transparent zones abuzz with activity. These areas serve as entry points, connecting the schoolyard, sports fields, and various clusters. With the inclusion of an auditorium and other amenities, these zones become vibrant meeting places.

"The architectural style of the Bossche School significantly influences the appearance of Bonhoeffer College, and this will remain unchanged. Preserving this heritage demands meticulous attention to detail, such as adjusting the facade's window frames deeper into the recesses, maintaining the original layout of window sections, and reintroducing the distinctive mullioned windows. We are also reinstating the original color scheme."
Mart Bremer, LIAG architects + engineers

A user-oriented approach: students and teachers at the center
The new Bonhoeffer College will provide a healthy and comfortable educational environment. Despite accommodating approximately 1,600 students, the design emphasizes a sense of intimacy. Ample daylight floods the interiors, and offering clear views of the surroundings. Natural materials, greenery, and excellent acoustics contribute to an optimal setting for learning and productivity.

"The 'new' Bonhoeffer College is designed with the user in mind. It goes beyond meeting functional and spatial requirements, integrating 'soft values' to create a place that people can identify with and feel comfortable in."
Carina Nørregaard, LIAG architects + engineers

In addition to promoting a healthy indoor climate, the design ensures intuitive navigation for students and teachers alike. The interior layout mirrors the clarity of the exterior. Each cluster possesses a distinct identity, with pathways and sightlines strategically designed to encourage interaction and accommodate special functions. A well-defined circulation route connects building sections, clusters, and floors, fostering both tranquility and dynamism.

The educational environment inspires creativity and collaboration, offering a variety of spaces for individual study and group work. Moreover, the building fosters a sense of pride and community among its users. Special features, such as galleries, performance stages, and a learning kitchen, are strategically placed within transparent intermediate zones, inviting local residents to engage with these neighborhood amenities.

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