The British School of Amsterdam

Atelier PRO architects

A vacant former Prison has been transformed into a school building, commissioned by The British School of Amsterdam in 2021. The new accommodation of the British School of Amsterdam is now a place that students, staff and parents love to visit. The result was achieved through a collaboration between Atelier PRO Architects and Van Hoogevest Architects, with the latter being involved in the restorative interventions in the historic prison section.

The prison building was designed by W.C. Metzelaar, and realized around 1890. It has a cruciform plan with a panopticon with a large dome at the intersection. The cells were located in three long wings. One of the major interventions was the expansion of the cell wings. With the wedge-shaped extension, the three cell wings were each extended on one long side to create spacious rooms, while on the other side of the wings the cell structure including the corridors and old facades were preserved. These cells were broken through in some places to create larger teaching spaces. The plans did not all fit into the existing building. That’s why a new structure was added. Previously, the British School of Amsterdam was housed in three different locations. The school's wish to have one building in which the three different schools (Early Years, Junior and Senior) came together has been realized with the arrival of this new school building. We turned a desolated prison into an expressive children’s world, where the domain of three separate schools integrate into one.