Stedelijk Gymnasium Arnhem (SGA) was formerly housed in a characteristic building with a unique atmosphere on the Statenlaan. An anticipated growth to about 900 students meant relocation to an existing school building on the Thorbeckestraat will be necessary. This building, which is listed as a historic city building, has been renovated and adapted to the SGA’s specific needs.
The existing school is constructed as a central section with two staircases that open out onto transepts that house the classrooms and auditorium. The central section and the classroom wings have hallways with classrooms. A gym is connected to the central section by a long passage. The second gym, which is connected by a short passage, recently burned down and will have to be replaced.
Domains with open working areas require stillness. Student flows, an inherent feature of subject-based schooling, should not take place through the domains. A connection between the stairways, outside of the central section, is therefore needed. The SGA focuses strongly on cooperation between students and contacts between the different age groups. However grand it is as a theatre though, the existing auditorium lies somewhat outside the nerve-centre of the classrooms and student flows. We believe that the school should have a heart, an active area conducive to contact and cooperation, from where the school can be taken in. The different domains will have a unique character and quietude.