Amsterdams Lyceum

Valeriusplein 13-15
Amsterdam Zuid
H.A.J. en J. Baanders / Architectenbureau J. van Stigt
Amsterdams Lyceum
1920 / 2002
Tram 16, halte Valeriusplein

The Amsterdam Lyceum stands in a unique location. If you look at this school building from the south – or open Google Maps – you see that it is situated on the Noorder Amstelkanaal, and thus on the boundary between Oud Zuid and Nieuw Zuid. Moreover, it stands in the angled axis from Emmaplein and Valeriusplein to Olympiaplein and Parnassusweg.
Because of the unique location, the architects, the Baanders brothers, designed the school as a monumental gateway building. They also undoubtedly had a good look at the Rijksmuseum. Their building, too, has a middle section with four passageways and towers on either side, with slightly lower and then higher side pavilions. The detailing is clearly in the Amsterdam School style.

An essential element in the axis from Emmaplein to Olympiaplein, and spatially closely connected to the school building, is the Lyceumbrug. This bridge was designed by P.L. Kramer in the Amsterdam School style, with sculptures by Hildo Krop. A small marina forms part of the bridge. This was built at the request of the school’s then headmaster, who wanted pupils to be able to travel to school by canoe or boat. The striking buildings with sloping roofs contain space for the boatswain, a sleeping area and toilets.

At the beginning of this century, the Amsterdam Lyceum was redeveloped by the architectural firm J. van Stigt. The two former gymnasiums were converted into nine new classrooms. Slightly to one side of the building, new gymnasiums and a library were built underground, topped by a roof garden. As a result, the building’s original character was preserved, additional space was created inside and the exterior space was screened off, making the street quieter.
There are supposedly plans for further redevelopment whereby the canteen will be placed underground, beneath the underpass. Once again the Rijksmuseum appears to have served as a model. (MB)