i29 interior architects in collaboration with Snelder Architecten, designed the Panta Rhei public school in Amstelveen (NL), paying close attention to the fine balance between freedom and a sense of security. The building realized by Snelder Architecten houses many open multifunctional spaces that link perfectly to the new identity i29 interior architects gave the school; ‘an identity that connects with the students’ environment and addresses them directly and personally’.
i29 took inspiration for the design from the name of the school ‘Panta Rhei’, which means ‘everything flows’, ‘everything in motion’. The significance of the name led to a design that encourages users imagination, offers elements that can be used flexibly, and enhances the school’s identity.
The design introduces strong visual statements through poems that have been applied to the linoleum floors and furniture throughout the entire building. The intention was to emphasize that moments outside of classroom can still offer knowledge and insight, and be inspirational.
i29 commissioned the poet Erik Jan Harmens to come up with poetry that was suitable for the public school. He worked out themes like insecurity and friendship together with the students, and left open texts to their own interpretation.
The poems were modelled into ‘carpets of text’ in which the letters stick together and seem to flow from each other, creating intriguing patterns from far. The graphics were implemented into the new school logo, facade, as well as all the signposting throughout the school.
The furniture throughout the spaces is informal and dynamic. i29 custom designed the tables in asymmetrical, angular shapes to offer both individual, and collaboration spaces. The shapes of the furniture allow it to be linked together in different ways, such as square, circular or star-shaped set-up. This aspect gives the furniture a dual purpose, since it can be used in classroom, as well as lounge spaces. The introduction of the Grcic chair enhances the technical aura of the space, and brings together the strong graphic visual with the monochromatic interior.
We think in structures and rhythms and not in taste or style. You can look at it as music which deals with harmony and contrast. One tone is not unconnected to the next and silence is essential.
Client: Panta Rhei, Amstelveen
Design: i29 | interior architects, Snelder Architecten
Floor area: 4000 m²
Photography: Jeroen Musch
Poems: Erik Jan Harmens
Constructor: Wouters Bouw
Interior builder: Zwartwoud
Awards: Nominated for Lai award 2009, Nominated for The Great Indoor Award 2009
*All images and information courtesy of i29 interior architects.