Projekti: Brede School Kwintijn Raalte (primary school)
Maa /kaupunki: Netherlands/Raalte
Arkkitehti: Daan Josee of Kristinsson Architects
Alakattourakoitsija: Eissink Plafond & Wand BV
Kuvat: Vincent Hartman
Projektin koko: 1,300 m²
The Brede School Kwintijn in Raalte is the result of the merger of several schools and houses 119 students, a preschool for 12–14 children, and two gyms. Education in the brand-new building is based on a completely new vision – where children do a lot themselves and “learn to learn”, which requires a structure that is less classroom-based. This was one of several reasons why a central structure was needed, with a variety of functionalities and spaces, where many children work together. This resulted in special requirements for design and acoustics.
Daan Josee of Kristinsson Architects, who designed the school building, explains: “In the spatial design, the different activities and the profile of the school are combined in so-called builds. These are arranged around a common multifunctional area that is literally used by everyone, and for which all are collectively responsible. The common area is viewed as an extension of the grade’s classroom, where children go to work as soon as their independence permits them to do so. The central location of that area is imperative, to allow easy passage from the child’s own core space to the common area without interrupting others.”
Because of the reduced scale and the available space, a compact multifunctional spatial design was chosen that allows direct communication between the spaces with the aid of movable walls. In the course of the day, different people often make use of the same facilities in quick succession. However, users should not disturb each other. Because they are shared, the facilities are used much more intensively than they would be if used separately. This requires attention to the quality and durability of the building materials, and to their acoustic performance.
For the acoustic ceiling panels, the choice was Gedina A, Hygiene Performance A and Hygiene Advance A. The quality of these panels had been proven during a trial project by the architect. The acoustic performance of Ecophon's 3rd generation glass wool panels ultimately proved a perfect match for the design.
Wim Finkers, the principal at Kwintijn, describes his experiences and those of his staff: “The new building is a very good fit for us. It gives us a sense of luxury to find that the acoustics are so good. At the former location, everyone could hear everything the others did. The sound of chairs being moved reverberated throughout. Now it is really quiet everywhere where it’s needed. On several occasions already, new parents, when given a tour, have noticed how quiet it is. Even in places where three classes are working simultaneously alongside each other, it sounds like there are 30 children instead of 70. The sound stays right in the space where it belongs. That is good for the students and for the teachers.”
“Our experience of light and sound here is completely different. The building design is transparent and features a lot of direct lighting, but because the right materials were used, this is not reflected in the sound levels. It is a relief to teach here. The intelligibility is much better, and teachers can teach their classes with much less effort.”
Wim Finkers, principal of the Brede School Kwintijn
Wim Finkers continues: “I am very happy with the approach taken by the external consultant on the building project, who specifically pointed out the acoustics and the need to make choices about certain noise levels right from the start. During the initial stage, we had not thought about comfort in terms of sound. It was great that we received this advice in time and were able to make allowances for it.”
The advice in the field of acoustics came from the consulting firm Sijperda-Hardy, which provided acoustic guidelines based on the desired reverberation time. In the end the contractor, Dijksma Draisma Dokkum, in consultation with an adviser at Ecophon, opted for Ecophon Gedina in view of the requirement for an acoustically good, sustainable and affordable ceiling panel.
“Because they are shared, the facilities are used much more intensively than they would be if used separately. This requires attention to the quality and durability of the building materials, and to their acoustic performance.”
Daan Josee, Kristinsson Architects