Marecollege is a Waldorf school in The Netherlands that had to be relocated as a result of new developments in Leiden. 24H Architecture was commissioned to help with the transition by transforming abandoned buildings at the new location on Sumatrastraat into a beautiful school for 450 students. They opted to use curious new shapes for extensions to the existing structure as well as a host of natural materials to create a healthy, warm, and stimulating learning environment.
24H Architecture left parts of the original building erected in the 1960s and then added a new central hall – a “lemniscate.” This is a figure eight structure or two loops that join in a central middle. The idea was to give the public face of the school a very distinctive identity. Add to this natural slate cladding and the effect is really quite powerful.
An interior courtyard that acts as the central playground has a facade of hardwood strips arranged in leaf patterns while each of the 32 classrooms have unique wooden ceilings. A new U-shaped building has a brick facade and timber detailing inside that is ideally suited to the self-empowering and nature-centric Waldorf curriculum. Fresh, airy, and soon to be covered in flowering plants, this is a very special place for students to learn and grow.