Pictures on the façade

PLUS Architects worked together in cooperation with the Youth Service, Education and Society in Rotterdam with parents and the school board of the Primary school “De Pijler”. By improving and providing a more pleasant stay at the temporarily school, they want to create a healthier environment.

The façade of the ”De Pijler” designed by PLUS Architects  is made of solid plates , modified with a Vectogramm milling technology. This is the first time this technique has been used for façades. Each façade has a “full-screen” picture of the 4 themes of the primary school ‘ De Pijler’, namely; independency, structure, involvement and social awareness. This creates a scale alienation and visually support the education activities that take place within the building. At a distance, you experience the façade in an other way than close by. At 30 meter distance the images are razor sharp and you discover the scale and the display of the image. While close by, a blur effect appears and you just experience the texture and the tactility of the building instead of the whole scale of the image. By choosing a coarse milling technique you can experience the building very differently from every angle.

The temporary nature of the building, built from standard-units, calls for an inventive and budget-oriented solution. Often unit-construction projects lead to bleak and straightforward buildings which sell its context and user short, but this doesn’t have to be the case!

By using an innovative façade material and an open floor plan the clustered-units gain a unusual appearance. The units together,  will than form a solid entity which makes the standardization be forgotten. The map, consisting out of series of fixed-unit modules, is designed in such a way that, from the middle of the corridor,  the spaces open directly to the outside. This gives the building more inner light and creates a direct relationship with the environment. With this the famous ‘ hotel room effect ‘of an endless corridor without daylight and view to closed doors can be avoided by creating an open surrounding. The width of the middle corridor with the several extensions makes multifunctional use possible. The hallway can also function as a play and learning zone. Each classroom has, in addition to a series of horizontal panoramic windows at different heights, one or more storey-high translucent fronts which provide a lot of  daylight and views.

The meandering cladding plates around the large façade openings, move like a snake around the building and transforming the straight box to create a dynamic sculpture. With this kind of design with standard units, it not only creates a more pleasant school environment with its own identity, but the building also adds to its surroundings.