Mecanoo has just broken ground on one of their most exciting projects to date – the green-roofed KIEM education complex in the Netherlands. Located in Dordrecht amidst several parks and a nature conservancy, the complex features five schools in one, all brick, and all covered with a sedum roof that creates continuity with the surrounding green spaces. Inside, carbon neutral wood panelling establishes a warm, homelike environment that promotes comfort, learning, and security.
The 5, 322 square meter facility features four little brick houses of different colors (to help the smaller children find their way) that are arranged around transparent glass zones. Natural light floods the interior space, and Mecanoo has also ensured that a healthy breeze runs through at all times. Air-conditioning is decentralized, which cuts down on energy consumption, and the wood has both a damp-regulating function and decent thermal storage properties.
Mecanoo has been featured on Inhabitat many times as a result of their consistent commitment to sustainability that in no way compromises the aesthetic merit of their numerous projects. KIEM caters to children with long-term illnesses and severe learning disabilities, and also offers pre-school and after-school care services. This is a groundbreaking project that should be complete by 2013.