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Holland Composites BV
Menno Emmink

Educational house for the future

Broekbakema as Architects

Changes in the educational vision of Hogeschool Windesheim in Zwolle meant that a new building was required for the Journalism and Economics faculties. The building should be able to accommodate different functions and it should be adaptable to the changing educational ambitions and diversity of teaching forms of the college over the years.

Flexibility plays a big part in ‘Building X’. The fixed components of the building form the structure within which adaptable components can be used to create more specific layouts and the desired ambience. Floor fields with maximum flexibility for layout are allowed for in this future-oriented construction with large spans.

A central atrium connects the two wings that make up the building. The wings are vertically staggered by half a floor and are connected by aerial walkways. This split-level structure facilitates linking between the different layers of the wings. Users can zigzag between the two wings by means of the aerial walkways which extend boldly across the atrium and give the space a dynamic feel. The generous central atrium lends itself well to an area for meeting and offers clear lines of sight between all the floors. Sunlight penetrates deep into the building. At the atrium side and to the hallways, the interior walls are constructed as much as possible from glass so that a light and transparent structure is created. This allows for visual relationships between the different activities and educational groups.

The expressive design of the atrium roof and facade accentuate the interplay of light and space in the atrium and give the interior of the building a familiar identity. Within the body of the building, the brightly coloured elements of the interior concept create dynamic contrasts and a lively environment for education and meeting.

‘Knowledge sharing through meeting’ is one of the core values of Hogeschool Windesheim. In Building X, with its many visual relationships and physical meeting areas, this core value is almost literally tangible.

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High school Windesheim Zwolle

Holland Composites BV as Manufacturers

High school Windesheim Zwolle is better known as Building X and was awarded The Netherlands’ 2011 Building of the Year by the national BNA- architecture organization.

Architect Broekbakema devised a very transparent building which allows natural light to enter deep into the building. The facade does not refer to the use (high school) of the building but has its own expression. It was calculated that a façade consisting for 50% out of glass would imply an optimum solution for having sufficient day light entrance as well as meeting other constructional aspects. By applying 3300 triangularly shaped pieces of glass, which were directly structurally bonded in the constructive sandwich façade elements, the building looks transparent. The façade has a relatively low weight and high insulation.

Some façade elements feature composite doors, in which the pattern of the windows passes through. Nothing more than a seam and door handle differentiate the door from the façade. The façade elements are self-supporting elements and are supported on the foundation. The exterior and interior detailing (prefab) was such that no further finishing was required after installation.

The structural composite façade elements measure 12.5 x 3.5 m and have a thickness of 300 mm. Total façade surface is 5650 m².

Development, production, transport and installation were all done by Holland Composites .

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