IJburg College 2 in Amsterdam does not aim to be a traditional school, but a ‘learning community’ where students learn about themselves and the world around them, as much as possible. The school has translated this educational concept into the actual building. The floor plays a vital role therein. In the large open spaces, the colours of the floors show the way to the ‘classrooms’, ‘corridors’ and learning pods. Since the floor takes up such a dominant place within the building, IJburg College 2 deliberately opted for the Bolidtop® 700 College, a floor system developed especially for educational institutions. It is available in a variety of colours, easy to clean and requires little maintenance. Besides, the Bolidtop® 700 College is a heavy-duty floor; an absolute must with a view to the intensive foot traffic at the school. Thanks to this choice, IJburg College 2 makes considerable savings in terms of its operating costs: funds the school is eager to spend on actual teaching.
Three years ago, the IJburg College in Amsterdam introduced a second establishment: IJburg College 2. The new construction was the ideal moment to translate the open concept of the learning community into a physical building. IJburg College II does not have walls, hallways or classrooms. Instead, it features a single large open space in which students work together. The floors show the different sections of the school: the light-coloured ones represent the ‘classrooms’ where students can work and concentrate. The dark floors represent the learning pods: here, students work together in various groups. The ‘corridors’ in the building are also light in colour and show students and staff how to reach a learning pod or classroom.
The learning pods are where the actual learning takes place, Nico Moen, head of operations & communications, explains. “The students literally take centre stage. The large open spaces have been defined as little as possible. Furniture, for example, isn’t fixed to a certain place. The learning pods are like canvasses that can be redefined on each occasion. Here, students attend various learning activities, ranging from shipbuilding to yoga lessons.”
According to Moen, the best place at IJburg College 2 is ‘floor 14’, a central place at ground floor level which is where a lot of activities with the outside world are organised. Moen: “The building is located in a new district and here at IJburg College 2 we aim to be a community school: our doors are open to all local residents and we undertake a lot of initiatives for and with the community. Floor 14 is extremely well-suited to the task: transparent and in full view from the outside. A splendid space for projecting our learning community and inviting local residents.”
IJburg College 2 opted to have the Bolidtop® 700 College installed throughout the building, a synthetic floor available in a wide range of colours which was especially developed with a view to the strict requirements attached to floor systems in schools. The Bolidt floor is seamless and therefore highly hygienic. Dirt has no opportunity to accumulate in seams and the floor surface is easy to clean.
In addition, the Bolidtop® 700 College is a low-maintenance floor. There is no need to apply an annual wax coating on the floor. On the contrary, thanks to the floor's high durability, schools are not required to carry out any major floor maintenance for the first fifteen years. Bolidtop® 700 College is based on the knowledge gained by Bolidt in the development of heavy-duty industrial floors. This has made Bolidtop® 700 College an ultra-strong floor suitable for heavy-duty foot traffic.
Moen explains that IJburg College 2 was first planning on purchasing an alternative floor. “However, by taking into account operational costs and not just focusing on the purchase price, Bolidt appeared to be the best choice by far”, Moen explains. “The Bolidt floor hardly requires any maintenance and is much more hard-wearing than other floors. Its robustness and durability mean that we hardly have to look after it for many years to come. This means that we realise substantial savings in terms of operating costs; which is money we can spend on actual teaching instead. You do the maths, we did!”
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