exploring nature

Vossepark, Hillegom

The recently amalgamated Meer en Dorp school and BLOS childcare center now have the privilege of inhabiting a brand-new, integrated child center in Hillegom – the IKC Vossepark. Nestled in a picturesque setting, this building is cocooned by lush greenery, nestled beside a park, and in close proximity to a petting zoo. This location is nothing short of ideal, given the primary objective of creating a child center that optimally nurtures child development. It's a setting that offers an exemplary starting point for this mission, and the architectural design exploits this advantage to the fullest.

Photography: Rufus de Vries

education & childcare

Sophia Scholen & Municipality Hillegom



in use

A building full of possibilities
This design is underpinned by a core belief that everything should contribute to a child's development. This notion serves as the bedrock of the entire design process. The building's layout seamlessly aligns with the continuous learning journey. It is immediately clear where each 'age zone' can be found. While the school and childcare areas maintain their unique entrances and identities, there is an undeniable cohesiveness and connection. Inside, the space is bathed in natural light, fostering an open and airy atmosphere. The strategic sightlines afford students an overviewe and a glimpse of their next developmental phase. Both the interior and exterior designs harmonize with a child's world and their educational needs.

Exploring nature
How does this child center nurture their growth? The answer lies in its natural surroundings. The building opens up to Vossepark, with floor-to-ceiling windows in communal areas offering captivating vistas. Users enjoy direct benefits from this feature. For instance, students demonstrate improved performance, while teachers experience reduced work-related stress. What's more, it motivates them to venture outdoors. The immediate access to an outdoor space makes outdoor classes alluring, such as collecting chestnuts during the autumn season.

"Just take a look out of the window. So much greenery surrounds us. It's located in a park, on its own island. It's an absolute joy working here."
Friedeke van der Lei, IKC Vossepark
"In the near future, the building will have what could be called 'green socks'. The child center is surrounded by climbing plants. They grow up to the first floor. The children can engage in a friendly competition: Whose plant grows the fastest?"
Thomas Bögl, LIAG architects + engineers

A safe haven for play and learning
The child center is, at its essence, a safe haven for play and learning. The building itself embodies a softness. How, you ask? Through the use of natural materials, soothing pastel hues, and inviting rounded shapes. The decision to embrace this organic design language was motivated not only by the natural surroundings but also by the fact that rounded contours enhance the sense of space. They seamlessly connect various areas, and studies have shown that they have a positively calming and uplifting effect on children.

Embarking on a discovery
IKC Vossepark boasts a vibrant heart, embodied by an atrium that seamlessly connects all age zones and both floors. This space is tailor-made for celebratory occasions.The communal kitchen here is an eye-catcher. However, the central staircase steals the limelight – it's entirely enveloped in wood on the inside, resembling a whimsical treehouse. This evokes a sense of both comfort and freedom. Particularly when children embark on their exploratory journeys, heading upwards.

"The lush greenery outside, the vibrant colors, the abundance of wood, and the rounded shapes - all to create an environment that children perceive as both welcoming and safe."
Sanne Deutekom, IKC Vossepark

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