The ROC: a place where education and society rejuvenate each other

  • Social Spaces
  • Spatial Development

ROC’s (Regional Educational Centers) have a lot to offer. The buildings are a unique addition to the cityscape, with their practical workshops, studio’s and space for presentations. ROC’s are also often in pleasant, easily accessible locations. And we haven’t even mentioned what the schooling has to offer; curious students who don’t hesitate to engage with practical learning and who look to build their resumes with extra experience and exchange of ideas.

Searching for a flexible learning environment

In spite of their potential, today’s ROC’s are often inaccessible buildings that welcome no one beyond the students and teachers. The buildings are cumbersome and difficult to alter, while schooling changes quickly and continuously. ‘Modular’ schooling means more choice and customisation and a ‘life long learning’ that includes students from age 15 to 67 in the future.

How can an educational environment shift and change so that it also inspires students in the future?

Project Details

Heerhugowaard, Hoorn, Purmerend, Alkmaar

2018 – 2019

Design Research, Education

Jurrian Arnold

Together with:
Atelier Pro, ICS adviseurs, MDBS, Dolf Broekhuizen


We developed a rejuvenating learning environment, together with a broad team from different disciplines and Horizon staff. New chances were discovered by looking from the outside in. How do other organisations, companies or other visitors experience the value of an ROC?

Photographer Rufus de Vries illustrated the new learning environments using a unique ‘live’ method with all the participants both inside and outside the school.

Added Value

It turns out that an ROC can reinvent itself as a special meeting place in the city within the framework of personal development and knowledge exchange. This potential can be harnessed with a better anchoring in the city, multi-use spaces and a wider array of programming.

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