Montessori Lyceum


For the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam (MLA), we studied the extension opportunities on behalf of ‘Stichting mevrouw Meijer’, a research society for new education typologies.

MLA forms an exception to the typology of closed building blocks in the neighborhood of Amsterdam Out-Zuid. MLA is a eclectic hybrid of a monastery garden typology and an ensemble of post-war extensions. In our proposal, the perimeter is closed in line with the robust typology of the surroundings, while a more fragmented character is reserved for the inner courtyard. The different parts of the school each get their own approach; from infill in the pre-war part, to a casco renovation and extension of the lower post-war part, and a complete replacement of the sport and arts facilities. In addition, 6 apartments are also added.

The façade design is focused around a new brick architecture which combines contemporary and sustainable interventions with the rich masonary tradition of Amsterdam. The interior climate of the building reigns supreme; the façade is adjusted to the sun preventing direct sunlight, while natural daylight is delivered in abundance. The concertinaed façade of the upper layer adds concentration niches for students to the program.

The specific education concept of the Montesorri system, forms the starting point of the interior organisation of the building. Students ascend vertically into the building as they progress through theirs grades. Each are apart of their own so called ‘deelschool’ [house], because three ‘deelscholen’ are placed next to each other. Overlapping programmes and qualities per ‘deelschool’ are combined to create with a larger diversity of spaces and atmospheres. Large stairs connect the floor levels and access the roof terrace of the school yard. Kids can hang around on the stairs, the terrace and their own ‘deelschool’.

The new sport and arts facility is a robust corner building, with a refined detailing in the plint and roof eave. Here, the building connects to the existing monumental architecture. On the other side, new dwellings form a transitional zone that negotiate the existing dwelling and the new sports facility. On the top-floor in the attic, the arts ateliers are located, with glazed roof lights to the north that emit swaths of natural, indirect light. As such a new high-end environment for the school is seamlessly integrated into the city of Amsterdam’s character.

  • Name: Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam (MLA)
  • Location: Amsterdam (NL)
  • Program: School, class rooms, gym, dwellings, bicycle building
  • Size: 19.300 m²
  • Commission: Research, SD, DD
  • Period: 2018
  • Client: Stichting Mevrouw Meijer
  • Team: Jan Lebbink, Gert Kwekkeboom, Rick ten Doeschate, Ingrid van der Heijden, Fernanda Romeu, Anna-Maria Marchidan, Silvia Barletta
  • Images: Civic Architects

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