The plain, small monastery located in the village centre of Oisterwijk was recently extended in a gratifying way with the adjoining all-day school. Both buildings are finished with roofes and façades made of brick. The respective shape and detailing is, however, completely different.

Project details

Project Brede School De Waterhoef, Oisterwijk, the Netherlands
Client Community of Oisterwijk
Architect DAT architecten, Tilburg
Clay roof tiles used Actua10LT leikleur mat

Brede School De Waterhoef, Oisterwijk

Brede School De Waterhoef, Oisterwijk

Brede School De Waterhoef, Oisterwijk

Brede School De Waterhoef, Oisterwijk

Roof tiles in detail

Brede School De Waterhoef, Oisterwijk

Giving it a new chance

In the course of time, the monastery grounds had lost their original beauty, the enclosing wall had crumbled away, and the monastery itself was no longer used. A primary school had been built to the main building. But even this addition no longer fulfilled the requirements, and so the old site was given a new chance.

Search for the ideal shape

The commissioned office, DAT architecten from Tilburg, began to search for the ideal shape. The specifications were not exactly easy to fulfil. Architect Eefje Rikhof: "The required twelve classrooms, a sports hall, offices, and a childcare facility needed a considerable amount of space. And all that in a relatively small quarter consisting of 1930s residential houses. A modern building in such a context – so we thought about the best way to implement these specifications?"
The monastery itself offered first starting points. ‘The existing pitched roof was an important criterion, and the maximum ridge height was soon determined. Since this is an all-day school, a solution accommodating all functions beneath the same roof was preferred. We have taken that literally’, Rikhof laughs. ‘In the design phase, we folded a small box and put the school building underneath.’ This concept finally developed into the roof and the façade, which was clad with dark roof tiles. This roof tile is a material frequently used in the quarter. Owing to the unusual application of the tile one cannot immediately recognise that this is a building dating from the 21st century.

Respectful contrast

With its proportions and the calmly structured façades, the new building established a relationship to the monastery building. Rikhof explains: "The vertical windows of the monastery are, for example, reflected in the school." At the same time, a contrast should also be expressed. "Large parts of the roof truss are finished without windows as the roof area was designed as large as possible. The side façades features a playful cladding in bright colours, giving the building an element of softness."


Squares are laid out all around the building, where the children can become familiar with nature and biodiversity. "The roof gutters, for example, were mounted so that bats and swallows can nest there", Rikhof reports enthusiastically.

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