Amsterdam’s British School wins award for prison conversion

AMSTERDAM - British School of Amsterdam
Photo: British School of Amsterdam

The British School of Amsterdam has won a prestigious prize for its conversion of a former prison into a school for 1,000 pupils aged three to 18.

The Geurt Brinkgreve Bokaal is awarded to the best initiative for redeveloping or renovating part of the city’s heritage. It is named after Geurt Brinkgreve, who is best known for his work on ensuring the survival of Amsterdam city centre.

Much of the original building and character of the prison have been preserved, including the dome and the tiled hallways. The former chapel has become a theatre and two cells have also been kept as a reminder of the prison’s role during World War II when resistance fighters were held there.

‘A prison is a place where you don’t want to go and we are proud to have changed the building into a place you love to stay in,’ said architect Dorte Kristensen, who was part of the design team.

The prison was finally closed in 2013 as one of a number of prison closures in the Netherlands.

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