Gymnasium Beekvliet is a school focusing on classical humanities, built in the 1970’s and extended throughout several periods. Stichting Mevrouw Meijer, a research organization dedicated to improve existing school buildings, invited Olaf Gipser Architects and two other practices to study the possibility of renovating and ameliorating the gymnasium within the limits of a very restrained budget.
Our approach identified the existing, extensive yet mono-functional circulation space as the school’s spatial key identity. We proposed a series of chirurgical, precise interventions that would improve functional circulation and enrich the in-between spaces in order to stimulate various social and learning activities through local situations, atmospheres, and places to be appropriated. Additionally, a new multifunctional aula building located at the heart of the school, its central outdoor plaza was part of the proposal.
The aula extension is conceived as a most economic and simple volume, that closes the disrupted indoor circulation figure and enables diverse collective activities. Its covered outdoor gallery is sun shading the glazed perimeter and lending a distinctly renewed urban identity to the school, alluding to its affiliation with classical culture.