I remember this design of the Panta Rhei school by i29 from my interior architecture study in Utrecht. Back then it was very inspirational to me, and it always stayed with me. It is sober, simple, modern, white, and there is a connection with graphic design through the texts, that’s what I like about it. I also love the soberness in materials; the design is mostly white in combination with concrete and a touch of wood and steel.
Dutch interior architects i29 have completed the interior of a public school in Amstelveen in the Netherlands in 2009 that uses poetry as a design device. i29 let itself be inspired by the name of the school. Panta Rhei, meaning ‘everything flows’, ‘everything is in motion’. This led to a design that leaves space for the imagination of the users, offering elements that can be used flexibly, which also propagates the school’s identity.
i29 commissioned poems from Dutch poet ErikJan Harmens for the interior of the Panta Rhei school, and used the words to create “carpets of text” on floors and walls. Harmens worked with students to identify themes for the poems that reflected school life, such as insecurity and friendship. Throughout the entire school the poems have been applied to the linoleum floors and the furniture. The letters stick together and seem to flow from each other. From a distance the texts form intriguing graphic patterns.
This imagery has been implemented by i29 in the new school logo, the facade and the signposting throughout the school. The furniture, which was made to measure, is informal and dynamic. i29 designed tables in asymmetrical, angular shapes. These shapes allow the furniture to be linked together in all kinds of ways and different configurations can be made, such as square, circular or star-shaped set-up.
Images and part of the text via Dezeen and Archdaily.
Architect: Snelder Architecten
Interior Design: i29 l interior architects
Poems: ErikJan Harmens
Photography: Jeroen Musch