Lumion Amsterdam school interior

Lumion Amsterdam

fit for personalized learning

Lumion Amsterdam school interior

The original school building on the Amsterdam Vlaardingenlaaan used to be the location of a secondary technical school. This brutalistic building from 1973 was designed by architect Ben Ingwersen. It now houses Lumion Amsterdam, a comprehensive school for pre-vocational secondary education (vmbo-t), senior secondary education (havo) and pre-university education (vwo).

The building did not meet the standards of Lumion's educational ambitions. After a radical revitalization, a new ensemble of buildings, designed by atelier PRO had arisen in 2019. The existing building is respectfully renovated. Part of the old practice halls is removed and part is renovated. In addition, a new five-storey building section is added. The junior students are housed in the new building section and the senior students in the renovated building. The interior also went through  a major refurbishment.

Learning environment focus on human individual

In the educational concept of Lumion, the focus is on people, which is reflected in the physical learning environment. Each individual has their own learning path. From this perception, the learning activities are described and translated into learning processes. Students choose how fast they learn and at what level. They choose where and how they do this, this has become the starting point for the design of the interior.

Nudging  by interior design

Lumion school believes that the way you decorate and design spaces stimulates behaviour and helps develop the learning process. Unlike classical schools, there are few traditional classrooms here. In the new building part of the junior pupils, each floor has a large open space. This breathes an atmosphere of homeliness and security and is equipped for various learning activities.


The educational vision is based on building a community. That is why the spaces had to be as transparent as possible, with as few blind spots as possible, but with cosy places where pupils can feel sheltered. This transparency even extends to the open spaces of the juniors’ section in and even into the open teachers’ spaces.

Nests for the juniors

The juniors are  housed in the new building. Each floor has its own theme in the form of so-called nests. The theme nests correspond to the development stages pupils go through. Each nest has an iconic spatial object for recognisability and the character that goes with it.

You start in the nest of Nature Takes Over, which has been translated into a tree house. Then comes Escher meets Einstein, which has been translated into an object that consists of layered cubes and makes associations with spatial scale levels. The next phase, Granny Revisited, uses a carpet where you can sit comfortably in all sorts of ways. Last phase, Mary Quant, is associated with the world upside down like in the 1960s.

In addition to iconic objects, the design of the space provokes different uses for learning. It is also a nice environment to retreat to. Each nest layer has its own open teacher space and has its own accents.

Open spaces for the senior students

The renovated building section is the domain of the senior students. The clogged closed corridors have been broken through, creating many open spaces. The spaces help the students to prepare for higher education. You follow sessions instead of attending lessons. There are wonder rooms, such as a debating room (green House of Commons), but also a Space Odyssey-like lecture hall with a sleek design or a room with a stage for TED talks. It is the students' perception of the teacher that determines which space is used. In this way, students can take in the material in different ways... passionately debate, be amazed and inspired.

Inspiration all around

Each space in the renovated building will inspire you with graphic images of historical figures from science, culture, art in striking format and neon illustrations on the walls. Lumion has put a clear stamp on this to underline their educational vision. Most typical is therefore the quote of Pippi Longstocking "I never did it so I think I can do it". Small-scale and carefully designed spatial objects lure you to retreat for a while and work solitary in a cottage or a textile Gustave Klimt space. Thematic work or group spaces take you into the world of astronaut, artist or writer through wall-filling illustrations.

Campfires, wateringholes and caves

The concept for Lumion's interior design is based on supporting personalized learning and differentiated knowledge transfer. The concept distinguishes three learning settings such as 'campfires, caves and watering holes'. Campfires are settings where students gather around an expert who tells a fascinating story. Watering holes are spaces where students work together on projects and learn from each other. Caves are spaces where students retreat to study in a focused way.

First Kunskapsskolan in the Netherlands 

Lumion has succeeded in using a physical learning environment to facilitate personalized learning as much as possible. This makes it the first partner in the Netherlands of the Kunskapsskolan educational concept.



Education Snapshots
Aeccafe January 2021
Dutch education minister Arie Slob pays visit to Lumion Amsterdam
Lumion Amsterdam nominated for the WAN20 Award (architecture) and the WIN20 Award (interior design)
Inheritage 2020 p43 'The World's Greatest Architecture Projects'
Archdaily Juni 2020 (Spanish)
Archdaily March 2020




  • A nest (called Nature takes over); open learning area that has a different theme on each floor.
  • Granny Revisited
  • One of the many learning areas for the senior grade
  • A nest (called Escher meets Einstein); open learning area that has a different theme on each floor.
  • College room 'House of Commons' for debates and discussions
  • Last phase, Mary Quant, is associated with the world upside down like in the 1960s
  • Graphic neon illustrations of historical figures from science, culture and art on the walls
  • In the renovated old building, there are different free learning environments for the upper secondary students
  • The spectacular spiral staircase is the eye-catcher in the atrium.
  • The spectacular spiral staircase Photo: ©LiquidDesign (Forbo Eurocol)
  • New Lumion