Het Epos Primary School

SeArch, Bjarne Mastenbroek
The Netherlands
Ossip van Duivenbode

Het Epos is the winner of the Netherlands national Houtbouwprijs 2021 in the category of best modular timber construction.

This circular modular timber school is located in the southern part of the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Het Epos is built up of 75 prefabricated timber modules which if required can be relocated and stacked together on another location, future-proofing the school.

The surrounding area is socioeconomically disadvantaged so the new way of teaching is very innovative, and the teachers have more time to focus the students. The architectural firm SeArch and the contractor De Groot Vroomshoop developed a new way of building. The school is made out of wood but it can also be disassembled, moved, enlarged and expanded if needed.

One of the starting points for the design was that this new school should be sensitive to the surrounding neighborhood. The black coloured Lunawood Thermowood cladding and partially mirrored facade does the trick perfectly. The unusual combination makes the building blend naturally into the urban environment, but at the same time gives the façade an interesting and contemporary “skin”. The distance between the Thermowood battens varies, so the building appears differently depending where one is looking at it or what the weather or time of the day is.

The school being built as modular building, it contains two large communal spaces. Classrooms go around the building and in the middle is the atrium which is also the main entrance to the school and is the heart of the school. Different units can be divided into separate smaller units.

Also as the school is made from timber, the health benefits arise to high level. The porous wood surface odes not reflect sound in the same way that hard and artificial materials do. Lunawood Thermowood also naturally reduce noise indoors.

Compared to untreated wood, the total emissions of Lunawood Thermowood are significantly lower.

Het Epos - the winner of Houtbouwprijs 2021


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