The Focus school comprises two primary schools for children with special needs, in leafy surroundings. The starting point for the design was the vision of the head of the school and the project team. The children at the school require a peaceful environment, and this needs a particular approach, with for example areas where the children can play separately, alongside spaces where the support staff sit together to exchange ideas. The building comprises six small clusters containing classrooms, which are separated from one another both visually and acoustically, with their own entrance and play area. These clusters are indirectly linked to the triangular heart of the school containing the assembly hall and library. The teaching assistants and special needs teachers sit around this centre. All the spaces are covered by a façade shaped as a big cushion, that lends the building a sense of sanctuary.
Architect: Liesbeth van der Pol
Team: H. Nieuwland, P. van der Werf, J.J. Roeten, M. de Vries, J. van de Berg, P. Glandorff, J. Rombouts, G. Treventin, S. Butkin
Year: 1997 - 2005
Client: Gemeente Haarlem sector MO, Haarlem