In the Dutch community of Maasniel, the nature of a tree is the inspiration behind a school extension housing four new classrooms as well as a new library, outdoor theater and central space for meeting and open learning.
Designed by Architectenbureau Coppen, the symbolism of a tree is used to organize new uses and new ways of teaching within an existing traditional corridor-style school. “Teaching is no longer about telling children facts. It is about sharing ideas to foster enthusiasm for a new world, not the world we think we know,” says architect Hans Coppen. “People gather around a tree. The new central area here is like a tree as it offers a place for gathering, for sharing stories and ideas,” he continues.
At the same time, the tree offers a feeling of safety and enclosure. Small wood huts made of ROCKPANEL Woods offer overwhelmed children a break from group activities. Meanwhile, tree-like shapes made with ROCKPANEL Brilliant panels clad the facades of the new classrooms, overlapping the edges of the windows and offering a feeling of protection for the school's youngest age group of 4-6 year olds.
This is the first project in the Netherlands realised with ROCKPANEL Brilliant. Easy to cut, each curving panel features a range of colours including orange, cream and a variety of green shades that can be found in the nearby trees, bark and mosses. The sparkle present in ROCKPANEL Brilliant enlivens these colours, bringing the building even more to life when sunlight touches it.