Toermalijn Water Front

high temporality

extension of "Toermalijn" elementary school

The ambition behind this project is based on the ideas we began to explore in the Parasite Project from the late 1990s onwards: temporary architecture and temporarily available sites deserve attention, high-quality architecture and healthy materials - particularly when we deal with educational buildings for children.

With the school Parasites project (Hoogvliet 2003, we looked into alternatives to conventional, temporary school extensions, which are unfortunately very common in the Netherlands. As a result three prototypes for high-quality, singular, temporary classroom units were designed by three different architects and given to primary schools in Hoogvliet to test.

location: Hijkerveld, Zuidwijk, Rotterdam
design: 2006
realisation: 2007
client: Dienst Jeugd Onderwijs en Samenleving, Gemeente Rotterdam
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Utrecht
contractor: Van der Hoek en Van den Donker Bouwbedrijf BV
photography: Stefan Müller, Moritz Bernoully
Toermalijn Corridor 2

Unfortunately, standard provisional rooms are still being used frequently. They are useful for short-term use. However, such provisional solutions often last for many years, sometimes even longer than a child's stay in elementary school.

Toermalijn Models
Toermalijn Fence Courtyard
Toermalijn Canopy

In front of the classrooms there is a terrace under the generous cantilevering roof, which enables the glazed doors to be left open in all weathers.

Toermalijn Model
Toermalijn Model 3
Toermalijn Model 1
Toermalijn Model 2
Toermalijn Site Plan

site plan

With the project for the extension of the primary school De Toermalijn in Rotterdam, we added a prototypical design for temporary classrooms with flexible use to the series. Based on the low budgets conventionally available for semi-permanent school buildings, this is the first built example of its kind. It is a simple, one-storey building containing four classrooms, space for storage, toilets and a meeting room for teachers.

The prefabricated structure consists of timber frame walls, heavy and long laminated timber beams and timber hollow-core panels with acoustic perforations.

The large sliding doors between corridor and classroom allow the corridor space to be used occasionally as part of the classrooms. In the future, the walls between the classrooms can be replaced by sliding panels. This structural flexibility allows for a range of uses that go beyond typical teaching in pre-defined groups. 

Toermalijn Entrance
Toermalijn Sink Window
Toermalijn Sink From Outside
Toermalijn Floorplan Section

1 classroom
2 entrance
3 bathroom
4 storage

On the outside we also worked with limited resources: the graphic pattern of the façade plating creates a fresh and confident appearance!

Toermalijn Corner 2

The skin of the cubic volume, consisting of timber planks and coloured cement panels, relates to the post-war context of the surroundings while confidently expressing a contemporary identity of its own.

Toermalijn Water Front Portrait
Toermalijn Courtyard
Toermalijn Entrance Angle