Since the context of the sports campus Leidse Rijn is a newly built housing district within the periphery of Utrecht, the proposed configuration aims to contribute a rather public and iconographic aspect to the predominantly low-rise area, lacking points of recognition. At the same time social interaction among the students and social control should be simplified and supported. Therefore the two schools, divided up into four wings stretched out till terrain boundaries, are organized around a centrally positioned volume containing the shared facilities. The so defined yards, varying in surface and geometry, give orientations, multiple visual connections and draw the entire mass to scale.
The campus accommodates next to its educational program, a gymnasium and a vocational school, in and outdoor sports facilities and a cultural centre. The various uses are integrated within one solitary structure, where they complement as well as differentiate each other.
Because of diverse colour nuances applied to facade and interior, the two schools have separate identities; a shade of yellow-green is used for the gymnasium and a shade of purple-red for the vocational school. An overlay of these colours is chosen for the commonly used part. In changing weather conditions, varying natural and artificial light, a range of new colours arises inside the building and reflects on the completely white, bespoke furniture. In addition this achromatic interior will be variegated by its students and teaching material. The auditorium of both schools is divided by a large lit twofold glass wall, on which on each side artist Marijke van Warmerdam has pictured a Dutch landscape that seems to come alive due to the use of an internal mechanism. The scholars of one school perceive the other ones within a paradisiacal condition.
The central volume consists of a thin steel-concrete structure, carrying four large roof beams, from which a number of floors of this building are suspended. The structure and concrete walls, mostly left raw, create a rough interior to sustain the adolescent behaviour of its users as well as meet the limited budgets. An all around glazed façade exposes all activities taking place to the yards and adjacent education wings, the latter consisting of a prefab concrete structure and prefab façade elements. These self-supporting sandwich panels are stacked in a way not only to provide maximal openings to the classrooms, but also to give stability to the building. When approaching the campus complex, one notices a subtle movement in the shiny black panels in which a constant graduated relief offering tactile qualities in the concrete has been cast.