Beth Rodway and Angus Taylor have both received honorable mentions in an Arch Medium competition. The brief was to design a school in Amsterdam to re-establish the relationship with children have to water. Their work will also be published in the Arch Medium magazine. Here Beth describes her entry.
Elevated by columns and extending across the base of the pier, the play school acts as a gateway to the popular parkland beyond,in turn generating an inevitable interaction between the building and visitors. With minimal contact made to the ground, the design reflects a desire to preserve one of Amsterdam’s rare green spaces. With the structure half suspended above the water, additional space is utilised, continuing the common practice of land reclamation in Holland.
Furthermore, by extending the building out into the water an angle is created to allow a visual relationship with the existing school across the road. In addition, by aligning the play school with the Silodam the line of building begins to create a distinct and unique street front.
With the rectangular form that resulted from our reaction to the site, the long internal corridor connecting either end developed into a street of its own a ‘learning street’ as Hernman Hertzberger might put it. Classrooms and patios stagger asymmetrically, creating expansions and compressions of space which provide the variety experiential variety one associates to the street. Seating lines the walls like cafe tables on the pavement whilst crafted views leading outside offer a similar experience of looking through a side alley. The teachers lounge, located in a central position, imitates a town hall, with the surrounding common space acting as the public square.