Campus 013, one of the pre-vocational secondary education schools of Onderwijsgroep Tilburg (educational institute Tilburg), set off the academic year of 2017 in a completely new building. The new site is entirely geared towards practical forms of education. The classroom furniture from the previous building could, for the most part, be reused. The lecturers’ rooms and the areas that determine the atmosphere at school, such as the auditorium, cafeteria and student practice restaurant have been furnished by Gispen. A basic design with striking accents is applied. And everything is student-proof, of course.
A deliberate decision
Logistics, technology, retail, hotel and catering industry, healthcare, green programmes, art and culture – Campus 013 offers a great many areas of study to choose between. They all have one thing in common though: very practical and practice-oriented pre-vocational education, which is often a stepping stone to studying at secondary vocational level. Harrie Vermeulen, Housing Advisor: ‘We don’t train students to become craftspeople; we allow our students to get familiar with different subject areas. Hair dresser, shop assistant, car mechanic or chef; they can figure out what suits them best through activities taking place in large practice areas and by attending assessment workshops.’ This demands an inspiring learning environment. The old building was on its last legs and needed replacing. Campus 013 made a deliberate decision to move to another location, which is right besides one of the institution’s other sites, to which the new building connects via fly-overs, making cooperation and exchange even easier.
The architect’s thoughts
‘We designed the fixed part of the interior. The new “mobile” part of the interior was supplied by Gispen, who was able to match the furniture perfectly with our design. Ergonomic furniture for the team- and staff areas. High-grade products – both in quality and in appearance – for cafeterias, restaurant and auditorium. No one could have pulled it off better than Gispen has, if you ask me. We explored the building together, and finetuned products as the project progressed. We achieved the requested tranquillity while adding eye-catching details.’
Eliciting positive reactions
Architecten|en|en designed the interior and exterior of the new building. Architect-designer Frans Benjamins: ‘We wanted to elicit positive reactions among students. In its essence, the building exudes tranquillity. Routes have been shorted for as far as possible. The auditorium, for example, is not located on the ground floor, as one would expect, but on the first floor in the centre of the building. On the lower levels, you will find some eye-catching features, such as the large greenhouse (for the green programmes) which you can’t miss when standing outside right beside the entrance. On ground level, you will also find large practice classrooms where students are always busy at work. And the higher you get, the more lecture rooms you will come across – separated from the hustle and bustle.’
Tight deadline, large numbers
Gispen translated the design and colour schemes of Architecten|en|en into a carefully selected array of furniture. Maarten Houdijk, Gispen Accountmanager: ‘Gispen has been the main furniture supplier of Onderwijsgroep Tilburg for quite some time now. It was great to have also been able to contribute to the Campus 013 project. We furnished multiple atmospheric areas as well as all the lecturers’ rooms. We were faced with tight deadlines, with large amounts of furniture to supply. For the two cafeterias alone – one designated for the students, the other for the lecturers – we supplied seating for 250 people, in various shapes and sizes. For the restaurant, where students show off their cooking skills to those who come visit, we installed seating for 50. In addition, we installed 100 workstations for the lecturers and we equipped a theatre hall with fully-sized theatre seats and a podium.’
The client’s thoughts
‘Gispen’s furnishing proposals were perfectly in line with what we had in mind. They understood us well. The schedule was challenging; Gispen delivered in a very short timeframe. On top of that, they were very flexible; when we fell behind schedule, they improvised and managed to move in and allocate all the furniture in time for the new academic year.’
The classroom furniture from the previous building could, for the most part, be reused. An important requirement for the areas where Gispen installed new furniture was that the materials had to be student-proof. At the student cafeteria, for example, you will find train booths from Davant with sturdy Sylverguard and Blotaflex upholstery. We installed eye-catching purple sofas to create contrast to the tranquil design of the school. We gave every sofa throughout the school this same colour to create unity; prominent as they may be, the overall ambience of tranquillity still remains intact. Combine this with the orange window frames and one can conclude that a rich atmosphere is created. Tables have been equipped with solid-core tops – a sturdier material than chipboard, for example. In addition, the student desks have been given stronger frames.
Lecturers’ work area
Whenever the lecturers of Campus 013 are not busy teaching, they can find a spot in one of the open work environments. Harrie Vermeulen: ‘This was new to us. We transitioned from a traditional office space with fixed desktops to a flexible office environment where one can find a random spot and plug in a laptop.’ Sitting high up, sitting low, concentrating or lounging together – it is all possible. Digitisation automatically led to fewer (filing)cabinets and more room for different activities, in a modern business environment. Gispen supplied TM workstations for-two, TM desks in both Sit- and Stand variants, Zinn office chairs and Triennial chairs and bar stools. The lecturers’ cafeteria was given a homelier atmosphere with furniture including TST sofas, Thunderball lamps and ASY tables.
Photography: Chris van Koeverden