Da Vinci College Dordrecht, Holland: Mecanoo

Da Vinci College Building, Dordrecht Architecture, Holland, Architects, Images, Design

Da Vinci College Dordrecht

Dordrecht Building, The Netherlands higher education design by Mecanoo architecten

8 Nov 2007

Da Vinci College

Design: Mecanoo architecten

Princes Máxima opens Da Vinci College in Dordrecht

Friday, November 9th, the Da Vinci College, part of Learning Park Dordrecht, will officially be opened by the Dutch Princes Máxima. The Da Vinci College was designed by Mecanoo architecten in Delft as a “city within a city” and built by Heijmans/Proper-Stok.

Da Vinci College Dordrecht, Holland: Mecanoo architecten

In the 22,000 m2 Da Vinci College education and commerce work intensely together just like in the former days of the vocational schools. The school consists of an icon building and nine training houses, where students are trained for real world commerce.

Squares, alleys and courtyards connect the different training houses. Variation in material usage – Cortèn steel, brickwork, stucco, zinc, aluminium and glass – give the training houses their own identity and emanate the pride of the different crafts.

Da Vinci College Dordrecht, Holland: Mecanoo architecten

Da Vinci College, Learning Park, Dordrecht

Frontrunner in educational renewal

The Da Vinci College is a part of the Learning Park Dordrecht, the frontrunner in educational renewal in the Netherlands. Learning, living and enterprising are brought together in one neighbourhood. Education and commerce work together intensely just like in former the days of the vocational schools. At the Da Vinci College, this is happening by means of more than 20 training companies where students work as a part of their education.

To realize this new multidisciplinary educational philosophy, Mecanoo designed the Da Vinci College as a “city within a city”: nine training houses connected by alleys, squares and courtyards. A remarkable eye-catcher, the icon building forms the gateway to this city.

Da Vinci College Dordrecht, Holland: Mecanoo architecten

The school was designed to a human-scale, thus avoiding the impression of massiveness, though it houses more than 5000 students. Variation in material usage – Cortèn steel, brickwork, stucco, zinc, aluminium and glass – give the training houses their own identity and emanate the pride of craftsmanship. A lively coloured skin of glass panels drapes around three vertical cones containing meeting rooms and a conference centre.

The transparent facades on ground level offer a view of the student service centre, the practice rooms and the training companies, such as a hair salon on the central square. In this way, students and visitors can see what the different vocations have to offer. The theory classes take place on the upper floors.

Own house
In the interior’s design, Mecanoo emphasized the different characteristics of the training houses. Each training house is unique, has its own entrance, its own quality of space and materials, creating a sense of home. The Ocra building, for instance is clad with zinc. A huge atrium is created by connecting the stairwells. The broad stairs serve as casual hang-outs and lounging areas, but can also serve as seating for performances and events.

Already during the construction phase, the educational philosophy of the school was put into practice. Students participated in making furniture and in building security. The architectural concept of Mecanoo reflects the educational renewal that was envisioned by the school and the municipality of Dordrecht.

Da Vinci College Dordrecht, Holland: Mecanoo architecten

Da Vinci College Dordrecht – Building Information

Programme: Regional Educational Centre (ROC) with classrooms for theoretical education, training rooms, training companies, conference centre, restaurant, Student service centre and interior design of 22,500 m2, 1st prize competition
Design: 2004-05
Construction: 2005-07
Client: Heijmans/Proper-Stok, Rotterdam
Structural engineer: Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld b.v., Rotterdam; Heijmans Bestcon B.V., Best
Cost consultant: Heijmans/Proper-Stok, Rotterdam
Advisor building physics: Peutz bv, Zoetermeer
Project management: BBN Adviseurs, Houten
Mechanical and electrical engineer: Burgers Ergon, Eindhoven
Contractor: Heijmans IBC Bouw, Cappelle a/d IJssel
Building costs including installations: € 22.000.000 (2003)
Architect: mecanoo architecten b.v., Delft

Da Vinci College Dordrecht images / information from Mecanoo Architecten

Da Vinci College Dordrecht : mecanoo architecten

Location: Dordrecht, Netherlands

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