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Alfrink College

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Project: Alfrink College

Country/city: The Netherlands / Zoetermeer

Architect: Ralph Goutier (Zoetermeer city council property services department) in collaboration with HET architectenbureau

Ceiling Installer: De Vrij Akoestiek

Photographer: Rem van Schelt

Production year: 2017

Renovation and extension of Alfrink College

Alfrink College in the Dutch city of Zoetermeer recently underwent a total transformation. The outdated building was no longer up to modern standards, and the interior needed freshening up. City architect Ralph Goutier came up with a brilliant design, and HET Architectenbureau developed the detailed structural plans. The results are impressive, and the building recently won the Gemma Smid Publieksprijs 2018, an architectural prize awarded by the public.

Students and staff alike are happy with the results – and with the peaceful atmosphere that now reigns in the building.

Cohesive fusion of old and new

To create more space, the foyer was optimised and enlarged. As a result of the extension, each department now has its own open-plan study area, and the break space has been enlarged. There are also more study spaces, and interior traffic patterns have been improved considerably by relocating a number of rooms within the building. The exterior has been given a complete makeover by renovating the façade. The solid brickwork of the existing buildings has been beautifully incorporated into the new design and is well matched to the colour of the window frames. The fusion of the different architectural styles into a cohesive whole has been especially successful.

Colourful but peaceful interior

The old interior, dating from 1985, was badly outdated. The students wanted to see more colour in the building. New furnishings and bright colours now create a fresh look. The client also asked for the building’s acoustics, which used to be rather poor, to be improved so that ambient noise would be reduced to comfortable levels. To this end, installation company De Vrij Akoestiek demolished the old ceiling and replaced it with an Ecophon Gedina A acoustic ceiling, an effective solution offering high sound absorption.

Students and staff alike are happy with the results – and with the peaceful atmosphere that now reigns in the building.

 

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