For many years, fundamental physics research was carried out in the former Philips Natlab in the Strijp S area in Eindhoven; innovations include the compact disc and the DVD. Designed by cepezed, is transformed to create SintLucas College for creative-technological and entrepreneurial studies for lower and intermediate vocational education. The school actively seeks to form explicit connections with the many creative organizations and companies that have settled in the area since Philips left. Also within the school itself, everything is geared towards generating a real creative community. The architectural design serves this aim amply by means of a spacious arrangement where functions are linked in a coherent and well-considered way. In both spatial and functional terms, there is a wide diversity of rooms, ranging from theory classrooms to practical and instruction areas, from consultation areas to interview rooms for teachers and from individual study cubicles to the building’s large communal heart.
The fundamental structure is based on the original development, which had an essential structure of two elongated two-storey strips of buildings with a series of pavilions on the north side of each strip. On the south side, the strips are connected by a building block that houses the cultural organization Plaza Futura, with which the school intensively exchanges knowledge and students. The new middle zone, which includes the heart of the building, is completely oriented towards cross-fertilization: amongst other students, and also with the outside world. To that end, a commercial street has been included with facilities such as a high level equipped print-shop that both students and external parties can use, and creative studios for photography and audio-visual editing that can also be hired by others outside school hours. Access to both the existing buildings and the high new-build erection in between, is organized from the multifunctional heart of the building, which includes functions such as a restaurant, exhibition space, assembly and performance hall.
Based on the principle ‘seeing work, makes you work’, and also for orientation purposes, a stimulating, differentiated spatial experience and a high incidence of natural light, considerable transparency has been introduced to the complex. The new and existing buildings are clearly distinguishable with each having their own characteristics and value, while together they also form a single entity in a natural way.
SintLucas has been nominated for the BNA Best building of the year award 2017 in the category Stimulating environments.