Oog in Al School

Bikes on top

In one fluid movement, bicycle route, park, primary school, and gymnasium are being brought together and integrated into a public space. The dual-use of land, where the bicycle bridge goes with a loop over the school roof, makes the design of the OBS Oog in Al unique. The primary school and the playground function as pleasant and lively meeting places, that prioritize the experience of the students and the flexible use of the building. By strategically integrating different functions, the space has been innovatively used to create a safe school and green environment to learn and play.
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Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers, Bart Reuser with Tara Steenvoorden, Jurriaan Hillerstrom, Mark Jongerius (NEXT) and Rudy Uytenhaak, Karin Dorrepaal and Jonathan van Leeuzen (RUA)

Rudy Uytenhaak architectenbureau BV and B+B landschapsarchitectuur en stedenbouw

Roof of the Year 2016 / Nominee

Jeroen Musch

Exploring the surfaces

The enclosed shape of the school building provides an enclosed play area for the children. Due to the orientation towards the park, the school and the playground are safely shielded from the adjacent canal. Because the building is slightly narrower on the east side under the bridge, a natural main entrance is created as an extension of the street. The roof garden is the essential element between the different parts: it connects the school with the park and elevates the surrounding green environment, while at the same time creating a natural separationdual between the school and the passing cyclists.

Connecting various programs

A unique design has been created by combining the various program components together in a coherent manner and by working closely with all parties involved. The new public space inspires meetings and interaction for local residents, a safe and enclosed place for parents and school children to learn and play, and a fast and comfortable cycling route that offers a unique experience with the landscape for cyclists and pedestrians.

The integration of the various elements into a unified design is an example of innovative, flexible, and efficient use of space. It facilitates various program components in a coherent manner and provides an answer to current challenges in mobility and sustainable growth of the city. The dual-use of land, with the various buildings and the maximum space for greenery, acts as a meeting place for local residents, passengers, and school children. It establishes a physical and mental connection between the Utrecht neighbourhoods and forms a lever for the future growth of the city.

Creating a new public space

The sustainable use of both new and existing elements ensures that the design fits seamlessly into the urban environment. The choice for the use of bricks is in line with the material and colour of the surrounding neighbourhood. The high roof of the school has been used for solar panels so that sustainable energy can be used in the school and gym. Because the bicycle bridge runs over the roof of the school, the building is on all sides surrounded by light and space.

The aim of the design was to keep the original park as large as possible so that most of the trees could be preserved. The renewed park is a continuous green space, in which new elements have been carefully integrated into the existing landscape. The green space also functions as a central and vivid point in the public space of the district. Bridge and park become an integral part of the school, the neighbourhood, and the city.

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