An Addition to the Art College: Expansion of the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam
Architect: Fedlev under the leadership of Paulien Bremmer in cooperation with Hootsmans Architectuurbureau
Location: Amsterdam (NL)
The building, which is used by the Gerrit Rietveld Acadmie and the Sandberg Institute, is the brainchild of the multidisciplinary design team known as Federation Levitation (FedLev). Under the directorship of architect Paulien Bremmer, architects, designers and artists worked together; the Hootsmans architecture studio was part of the team as well.
The design concentrates on ideas of community and interdisciplinarity, values that Bremmer felt had previously enjoyed too little consideration on campus. The result is a landscaped building that is a setting for exchange, interaction, action and, of course, education. Positioned on a former parking lot, it is a direct neighbour to the main building, which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld himself. The clear, airy new structure is connected via a bridge to the first expansion, the tall building by Benthem & Crouwel from 2004.
The school is laid out on three visually and spatially linked levels. There are no corridors or enclosed staircases. Instead, an expansive external flight of stairs leads up to the roof, cutting its way through the building. Conceived as an open-air workspace, the roof was designed to bear the loads of temporary installations and mock-ups.
Indoors and outdoors merge like the different functions housed in the school: for example, the workshops and library, which are for the use of all students, interlink with working and seminar spaces for individual groups. Broad, open flights of stairs connect the different levels, allowing a free flow of space, light and air.