tweede verdieping van basisschool en buitenschoolse opvang de Toverberg in Zoetermeer met lerende kinderen, een dakraam en een rondomlopende vide

school without classrooms

IKC De Toverberg

In close cooperation with the users on the basis of an innovative vision of primary education we designed the new building for the school. That education philosophy provided the foundation for us to design a flexible, future-oriented and especially child-centred school building.

Photography: Ben Vulkers

Child center with primary school, day care, BSO and CJG

Municipality of Zoetermeer


IKC De Toverberg in the town of Zoetermeer is a school without classrooms. Broadly speaking, the building consists of one big open space that is divided by split levels. Visually open partitions and interior elements create various spaces for groups.

Eye for education quality

Pupils follow their personal learning route through the school. The curriculum is tailored to the learning needs of children, organized into constantly changing groups. To accommodate these working methods and learning activities, the lower, middle and upper classes occupy units that are linked by split levels. The units contain corners where groups or individuals can work, and quiet areas that can be closed off. Located along the outer walls are group areas in open zones, with the play area in the centre. The multipurpose playroom beside the central atrium features a large panelled wall that has become the heart of the building. On one side is a crèche facility, and on the other are the younger class groups.

Natural relations between children and adults

The school wanted to avoid closed-off spaces so that the director and teachers would simply occupy one open space. That is why the centre of the school contains various open workspaces on various levels, and why the school contains no private office spaces.

A void allows daylight to penetrate deeply into the building and guides visitors up the main stairs. That stairs are playfully and carefully designed to ensure smooth circulation to and from the upper level. Located beneath the stairs is a playhouse for the smaller children. The design therefore reflects the innovative concept of active and inspiring education.

The building radiates positivism

The new IKC building is located in Buitengebied-West, a typical 1970s neighbourhood. The building features a facade with a striking composition of staggered windows and combines white plaster with yellow brickwork. This contrasts with the predominantly red brickwork of the surrounding rows of terraced housing. Indoors, the staggered windows provide deep windowsills that are playful and accessible for children and adults alike and that invite people to sit in the niches to read or learn. As a result, school activities are clearly visible from outside.

We worked on the interior and furniture design with Marjo van Keulen, who is responsible for all furniture used by Unicoz in all its schools.

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