The Stedelijk Gymnasium occupies two separate building on opposite sides of the Prinsenhof in Haarlem. This arrangement means that public space is a large part of school life. The existing complex, built by J.E. van den Arend in 1865, will is and restored. However, a new addition is created that brings a clean, new definition to the large park-like courtyard behind the building. On the other hand, the front of the new structure is mostly concealed behind the facades of two neighbouring buildings, and only a small sliver of new construction - built from the same materials and of the same proportions as the rear side - is visible from the Prinsenhof.
The new design means that the existing building is more than twice as large as it previously was - along with the necessary schoolrooms and teacher's offices the new building complex houses a new gymnasium and a multi-purpose auditorium. By sinking the gymnasium halfway into the ground, space is made for an extra storey of classrooms.
An important point of departure for the new design was that the present structure of the school be clear and comprehensible- that of a group of related buildings situated around an existing inner courtyard. In the new building this former inner courtyard is retained and glassed over, and along with a second interior space that is placed in the new building, forms a series of plaza-like interiors that serves as a kind of linked continuation of the exterior courtyard area of the Prinsenhof. This glassed-over courtyard forms the central core of the school, and all activity moves either though it or around it.
client: Stedelijk Gymnasium Haarlem