DP6 completes new multifunctional community cluster in Amersfoort
The ICOON is a new services cluster for information, culture, education, and sport for the new Vathorst housing estate in Amersfoort. The ICOON comprises a public library, an art school branch, the Vathorst College, a local theatre, a children’s day-care centre, a sports centre, and a meeting centre. Since the cluster includes a number of components for general use by the public, both cultural and otherwise, the ICOON has the potential of becoming a cultural centre of some stature, not just for the Vathorst district, but also for the nearby towns.
The ICOON forms part of the central area of Vathorst. The library, the central access, the cafés and restaurants, and the art school are all located around the Eikenplein square, which forms part of the shopping precinct that runs through the central area. The Vathorst College, the day-care centre, and the sports centre are located along a green avenue at the edge of the central area. The ICOON is a large complex. In order not to overwhelm the individual person, the design uses various scale levels, and the building responds to specific user requirements. The design is flexible to enable it to incorporate programme changes in a natural way. In addition, the design is ready to accommodate any future extensions to the Vathorst College.
The architect’s associations for the design were old brick factories on the edges of the historic inner towns, which have found a new use as studios and other cultural functions. They are characterised by the jumble of volumes, the opportunities they offer for expansion and alterations to the complex, as well as the rugged use of materials such as brick, metal, and glass, with more refined objects located in the interior. The ICOON concept also includes a roof landscape between these volumes, to be used as an exterior space by the school.