Isala College needed a new building to expand the school and improve its facilities. Mecanoo’s design for the new secondary school fulfils the brief, taking its cue from the idyllic landscape of Silvolde. The name of the college derives from the Oude IJssel River, which runs parallel to a dirt road lined with old oak trees.
Nestled in these green surroundings, the elongated school building curves gently, as though tracing the course of the river. An organic volume breaks a long corridor over two floors. This lively heart of the school contains a multipurpose auditorium with a double sports hall behind. The modest classroom interiors feature walls of raw concrete, and the theory classrooms and stairwell enjoy views of the green landscape. A long curved wall borders the corridor of the north wing, behind which are subject-specific classrooms of various size. Glass display cases along the corridor offer glimpses into the classrooms.The sports halls have a steel structure and timber facade, the auditorium is encased in zinc and the west facade is clad with teak panels.
In combination with a pergola, the oak trees form a natural sunshade along the building. The east and south facades, which together measure 100 metres in length, are built of irregular bricks fired in a traditional ring kiln. These burnt and misshapen bricks lend the masonry wall a distinct character.