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Campus Porteum · Lelystad, the Netherlands

Unity in diversity: a new natural learning landscape


Porteum is a new campus in which all secondary schools in Lelystad have joined forces. The campus therefore embodies unity in diversity, a concept in which the landscape and the buildings work together to create a new home for roughly 4000 students and their teachers. The design is the result of a collaboration between Kraaijvanger and ourselves, who together won the design competition.

Lelystad, the Netherlands
2017 - 2021
Project area
4,85 ha
Municipality of Lelystad
Kraaijvanger architects, Aronsohn Constructies, J. van Toorenburg BV, Peutz
Photography credits
Ronald Tilleman

Connected fragments of human scale

The new educational campus accommodates students in VMBO, HAVO, and VWO programs. To this end, the complex consists of seven individual buildings one of which contains shared functions. Each individual building is realised on a human scale, and connected to each other through an elevated loop. At the heart is the inner garden, a tree meadow that emphasises the unity of the whole ensemble. Thanks to this elevated circulation, the spaces between and around the buildings connect seamlessly, but also have a clear character of their own as the school garden.


The design for the school garden is inspired by the organic structures and natural values of the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve. Subtle nuances of grass and flower fields, wooded areas, reed edges, and the intricate patterns of animal trails form the basis of the design. These natural patterns are stylised and accentuated in the design creating an intriguing interplay of lines. The division into various facets with different pavements and green infills create a scenic unification in their variation. The dynamic interplay of paving and plantings, edges and steps, invites active engagement with the outdoor space, transforming the garden into an environment for movement.

Creator of meaningful places
Creator of meaningful places

Natural biotope

The school and the school garden are developed with ambitious sustainability goals. Solar panels provide energy for the school, rainwater is reused for toilet flushing. The garden is designed for use during breaks and leisure time. Additionally, the garden provides an educational space through a square near the technology classroom which functions as an outdoor workshop. Diverse gardens on the premises, including a bee garden, serve a practical purpose while also educating students about biological processes.


The natural vegetation is complemented by cultivated perennial plant species, giving rise to an identity of a natural looking biotope with subtle nuances and ecological significance. The existing character (the reed landscape of the Rietlanden) was decisive for the extensive surrounding landscape. A natural transition in scale and green character has been designed for this.


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