The American School of The Hague is situated on a large campus in Wassenaar. The original school building was built on a tight budget in the 80’s and later extended several times. Being a high profile international school and facing increasing competition from other schools, the image and functioning of the existing main entrance building did not match the current profile and ambitions of the school.

In collaboration with Alrik Koudenburg of Studio A+ we created a new entrance lobby and hospitality area to achieve a warm welcome and a new heart of the school. By demolishing the mostly unused gym, space is made for a new entrance area which becomes the focal point of the school in which parents, students, teachers and staff can meet. All the representative and service functions are relocated to the entrance area: reception desk, admissions office, transportation staff, security, parent/teacher organisation, public relations and IT services are brought together here.

The new entrance is accentuated by a floating wood cladded box that is suspended from a range of cantilevering beams on the roof, thus avoiding  the need for new foundations. This box clearly marks the entrance and gives a fresh new ‘first impression’ of the school.  Inside we created a big void to open up the entrance area, facilitate visibility and intuitive routing. In this void the IT-department is placed in a transparent box again suspended from the main roof structure. The materialization of the new interior contrasts with the rugged 80’s feel of the existing building. A rich and playful palette of materials is applied which combines the qualities of natural materials, natural green, industrial elements and strong colorful graphics.


Design team: Marijn Mees, Alrik Koudenburg (Studio A+) & Remco Wieringa (Wieringa Bouwconsult)

Year: 2013-2014

Status: completed

Client: American School of The Hague

Size: 750 m2

Budget: undisclosed

Services provided: concept, architectural and interior design, technical design,

budget calculations, on-site coordination

Contractor: De Nijs, Castricum

Structural engineering: IMd, Rotterdam

Mechanical Engineering: Schulte&Lestraden, Lisse

Electrical Engineering: Heijmans Utiliteit, Leiden

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