By combining a secondary school, a library, a music school, an artist’s studio, a toys loan centre, and a youth work centre in one accommodation, the municipality Langedijk asked SEED architects to create a cultural and educational meeting place.



One mostly meets people on the street. A square is often too big for that. That is why the meeting square in the program has been translated into a street. This street is the central part of the building. It is the historical “Long dyke” (Dutch: lange dijk) which connected the people located on the local islands. The layout of the building reflects the historical town structure of Langedijk.


Integration in urban fabric
The building consists of three parts: the islands, the street and some particular elements. The street follows the direction of the dike connecting the “islands” positioned along the main directions of the historical islands. Specific functions such as the reading café the auditorium have been positioned on particular places. Each part has its own materials and architecture, which refers to the local architecture of Langedijk.

Eighty percent of the programme is situated in universal building blocks, the islands. They have taken their direction from the Geestmerambacht Polder and are made of robust bricks. The islands proved to be very flexible, so that the specific schedules of requirements of the various users could be fitted in easily. Any changes in the future can be implemented easily through the application of wall systems. The users can also use each other’s facilities.

Auditorium / theatre
The auditorium of the secondary school has a striking appearance, and is situated in the water. This site refers to the strong traditional bond between Langedijk and the water. This is still very evident in the old auction house “Broekerveiling”, and the residential district “Duizendeilandenrijk”, where the old lay of the land, small farmland plots criss-crossed with ditches and canals, has been preserved. The auditorium can be seen by passing traffic on the adjacent through road. The design of the auditorium also allows it to be used as a theatre hall. In the daytime, the auditorium can accommodate 600 pupils, who can eat their lunch or make their homework. In the evening, some 450 people can enjoy a theatre performance. The auditorium has a stage, balcony, ascending floors, control room, dressing rooms, artist foyer and the required theatre equipment.

Most visitors to De Binding come from the direct vicinity, and for this reason many facets from the neighbourhood have been included in the design and in the choice of the materials, given them both outside and inside a modern application. They also ensure that the building will retain its beauty, despite its intensive use. The pupils of the schools find their way through their own side entrance and continue to the first and second floor. In the street the users present themselves through shop windows. With individual inscriptions in the concrete, the 6 users are connected with the building for ever. The street ends with a large window offering a view of the landscape of Langedijk. Here one finds the foyer and also the place where the creative productions are showed. Seven palettes were developed for the floor finishing of the islands. As a result, the various islands each have their own, recognizable atmosphere within the unity of the complex. The different colour palettes are connected by a clearly identifiable line of bright purple and green elements. These thread the colour palettes back together again, so to speak. The various large visuals on the walls and the two highlighted colours green and purple turn the interior into a surprising experience.


Sustainable energy use
The building uses heat and cold storage (geothermal storage) in combination with concrete core activation. This is a technology where the concrete floors provide heating and cooling for the building, thanks to the energy stored in the ground. This makes the building extremely energy-efficient and energy sustainable.

Natural daylight penetration
Natural daylight penetration is an important factor for realising flexibility of use. Natural daylight penetration and pleasant views are considered to be universal values, as a result of which the building is perceived as a much more attractive place, with the added benefit that the rooms can be used for several functions. In addition, a view on the surroundings ensures an easy orientation inside the building, and visitors can find their way without trouble the first round.

Blinds The shading in the form of fixed blades ensures a sun protection that adapts to the seasons: in summer a high position of the sun and little direct solar radiation and in winter a low sun and high radiation. Without obstructing the view these blinds retain heat in winter and reflect the heat of the summer season. The designers sought a low-maintenance performance of the blades.

The exterior consists mostly of traditional materials such as brick, wood, glass, steel and lead. The materials used for the auditorium refers to the well-known Broekerveiling Auction House, which is also partly standing in water. By applying these materials according to modern standards (window sills set back, verges, greying of wood) the maintenance forecast is low and these materials give the building an artisanal and village-like character, anchoring the building in the Langedijk community and its surroundings.

DESIGN: 2003-2006
SIZE: 9,600 M2 GFA
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