Project: The British School of Amsterdam
Award: Adaptive Reuse, Silver, 2022
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Architect: Atelier PRO Architects
Client: The British School of Amsterdam
A prison which closed in 2014 has been transformed into a distinctive and imaginative school building for The British School of Amsterdam. The original prison building dates back to around 1890 and the new school design has opened up the confined and gloomy space while bringing its early years, junior and senior provision under one roof for the first time. Later additions, including a 1980s extension, have been cleared and a treelined playground has replaced the old prison wall.
The prison featured a panopticon design, with four wings set around a central domed space. Three of these wings consisted of cells, while the fourth housed the chapel. Now each school has one wing which includes a part of the old building as well as a new wedge-shaped extension which expands the narrow cell wings along one side to create spacious class rooms.
Interior walls have been carefully stripped of layers of paint and the original masonry cleaned and restored to its former glory.
The cell structure, including the corridors and old facades, have been preserved. These cells have been knocked through in some places to create larger teaching spaces with extra windows. One cell - in which resistance fighter Hannie Schaft was imprisioned - has been preserved as a reminder of the building’s heritage.
Photo credit: Eva Bloem
- LEAD ARCHITECTS: Dorte Kristensen, Lisette Plouvier, Evelien van Beek
RESTAURATION ARCHITECT: Van Hoogevest architecten
- GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs