The new building will promote the school’s ethos of high-quality, active, pupil-centred learning backed by seamless state-of-the-art technology and first-rate support services.

Building project

Background

For the last few years, The British School of Amsterdam has begun to outgrow the three buildings we currently occupy. The division of the school onto three separate sites allows each section of the school the space it needs but means the functioning and feeling of the school is split. We have always wanted to be united in a single building, combining a community of parents, pupils and staff with excellent facilities and abundant outside space.

Since 2005 the leadership of the school began to search for new premises, where all the classes of the school could learn together under one roof. Following an intensive search period including two advanced but unsuccessful bids on other locations the school focussed on the Havenstraat, which had come back on the market (thank you to Sandra Chedi). Along with a former parent and alderman, Hans Gerson, and of the architect Andre van Stigt the school managed to secure the Havenstraat 6 in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid by signing a Letter of Intent with the municipality in November 2015. After an intensive feasibility study with MME architects The British School bought this magnificent site from the Rijks Vastgoed Bedrijf in February 2017.

The new site is a 19th century listed building within a residential neighbourhood. Over the next two years, the school will embark on a major redevelopment programme, to turn this historic building into a fantastic modern British international school with a capacity of 14,100m².

Location

The new school building will be located at Havenstraat 6, in South Amsterdam. Perfectly positioned between Central Amsterdam and Amstelveen at the border of the financial district. It is also in the heart of where most expatriate families in the Metropolitan Area of Amsterdam live and work. The building has great access to the entire city, including the old South, Central and Western Amsterdam and Amstelveen. Situated near the Western end of the Vondel Park, the new location will be close to tramlines 2, 16 and 24, multiple bus stops and is a 15-minute drive from Amstelveen centre. It is also close to Schiphol Airport.

Using the several bicycle lanes, the school is also easily and safely accessible by bicycle from every direction.

Current use

When the government stopped using the Havenstraat as a detention centre in 2010, many groups used the empty building for temporary housing. Over the years, various groups of people, including refugees have lived in it. Currently it is being used by HVO Querido to accommodate housing for “passanten” and refugees with no legal status (ongedocumenteerden).

HVO will start leaving the building by mid of October 2018 and will hand it over empty on 1 November.

Our collaborators
Project management

The school’s Bursar (Project Director), Stone22 (Building Manager) and the Controller form the day-to-day management of the Havenstraat project. The Steering Group consists of the Principal, the Vice Principal, Project Director (Bursar), Building Manger and the Controller. The Steering Group receive regular updates on the building project and are the main decision making body for the project and is chaired by the Principal.

Design phase

We are working with several organisations to ensure the redevelopment of the Havenstraat is of the highest quality and is delivered on time. We have chosen Atelier PRO as the lead architect for the new building. Atelier PRO has a strong record in international school buildings. Recently they delivered the award-winning building for the International School of Moscow.

Hoogesvest Architecten are the restoration architects. Hoogesvest Architecten have a tremendous track record of accomplishments, including redevelopment of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

For the designing and landscaping of our outdoor spaces, we work closely together with Buro Sant en Co.

In addition to these three companies we also work with Deerns for technical installations, IMd Raadgevend Ingenieurs and IGG Building on a wide range technical matters. These experts have formerly worked on transforming locations such as the Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Van Gogh Museum into the beautiful spaces they are now.

Other companies supporting us in transforming the enlisted building into a state-of-the-art international school building. Those are: Clifford Chance (legal advice), Rechtstaete Real Estate (legal and tax advice), Vierduinen (catering services), B-on-the-Move (relocation services and facilities management), Call2 (IT services), Lockmaster (security systems), NIC (procurement advisors), Colliers International (property evaluators), Remit (financial advisors) and Flynth (auditing and accountancy advice).

Construction phase

At this moment, we are in the process of finalising the tenders for our construction partners. Very shortly we will appoint a demolition partner, a builder and an mechanical & electrical contractor.

Funding partner

We are delighted that Rabobank Amsterdam are partially funding this project.

Municipality of Amsterdam

This project would not have been possible without the invaluable support of the Municipality of Amsterdam. Many thanks therefore go to the Board of Aldermen and the Chair of Stadsdeel Zuid. Also a huge thanks to all the various clerks and other departments of the Municipality who have helped so much in getting us to this point.

Key features of the new building

In our design for the new school we intend to create an innovative and contemporary space which is both beautiful and highly functional. The designs reflect our focus on innovation, sustainability and pupil-centred pedagogy. The result will be remarkable.

The new building will have space for up to 1,200 pupils, although through our design we plan to keep our ‘small school’ feeling. There are several features for the new building we are particularly proud of and will make both access and learning easier for everyone.

Improved access

A lot of thought is going into how to access the new school building, both for cars and bicycles. The new building will feature a ‘Kiss and Ride’ drop off point along the Havenstraat, allowing parents of older children to easily bring their children to the school gates by car. The site will also have parking for bicycles. The site is a one-minute walk away from Haarlemmermeer station and is close to a number of bus and tram stops, allowing easy public transport access to the school.

Multi-use spaces

A school must provide many functions in one building and our new building at the Havenstraat will allow us to fulfil this need. The new building will have space for offices and classrooms as well as wide hallways and galleries so children and staff can move easily around the school. The new building will provide a variety of different types of study spaces, from classrooms to concentrate in, to libraries and shared spaces where older children can engage in individual studies or group work. We want all our pupils to have access to the space they require to learn well in, as well as the social environments they enjoy.

The pupils will have access to a wonderful theatre where they will be able to perform and present to their peers and parents.

The Sports Hall will offer our pupils the best type of space to play sports and learn physical education. The space will be designed to meet all the sporting standards for all the indoor sports that we play and compete in.

Varied outdoor spaces

The new building will give the British School more outdoor space than ever before. There will be separated play areas for each of the school sections, ensuring children can feel safe and secure during outdoor playtime. We have worked hard to incorporate a number of different types of outdoor spaces, from meadowlands to sand dunes, to areas for gardening and an innovative ‘Insect Hotel’.

Beautiful light

We want our new building to be beautiful as well as functional – a requirement which is fulfilled by the natural light that shines through the building. The central skylight at the centre of the building will allow daylight to enter the heart of the school. The long corridors will provide extensive sightlines to the exterior, allowing even more light into the building.

Project Timeline
  • 11/2015 – 02/2017 Feasibility study, funding and contracting Design Team
Design phase and contracting suppliers
  • 03/2017 – 09/2017 Sketch Design
  • 10/2017 – 05/2018 Preliminary Design
  • 06/2018 – 08/2018 Definite Design
  • 09/2018 – 01/2019 Technical drawings
Permit procedures
  • 01/07/2018 – 29/09/2018 Demolition exterior building
  • 26/07/2018 – current Building permit, including demolition permit interior listed building
Construction works
  • 15/10/2018 Start preparations for the physical building works
  • 01/11/2018 Start demolition work of the exterior buildings
  • 01/03/2019 Start building work
  • 01/05/2019 Start the mechanical and electrical work
  • 01/03/2020 Start the interior work
  • 01/04/2020 Start the terrain work
  • 01/06/2020 Begin the relocation work
Opening school and finalising last details
  • 09/2020 Opening of the school
  • In the first term we will have the official opening school, celebrations
  • 01/12/2020 Final delivery school building
Milestones
  • 23/11/2015 Signing Letter of Intent/ Agreement on Headlines municipality
  • 27/02/2017 Purchase Havenstraat 6 from RVB
  • 01/11/2018 Constructions begins