The Hyperion Lyceum is an innovative school for advanced secondary education (VWO+), offering pre-university teaching with or without Latin and Greek (gymnasium or atheneum). In both of these, the emphasis is on developing a high level of academic reasoning.
The key focus is on teaching students to think critically and rationally, taking account of people and society. The motto is Nihil Volentibus Arduum – Where There’s a Will There’s a Way. The Hyperion Lyceum considers it important for students to feel at ease at school. The school’s culture is therefore informal, with a lot of interaction between teachers, students and parents.

“Varied and contemporary teaching”

Nihil Volentibus Arduum – Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

This year, the Hyperion Lyceum has 866 students and is part of the VOvA group of Amsterdam secondary schools. The VOvA is a group of schools in Amsterdam with a comprehensive offering of secondary education, ranging from practical education through to pre-university education. A total of more than 3,200 students are taught at nine school locations in Amsterdam.
The Hyperion Lyceum expects all of its students to be eager to learn and talented. The education provided gives students the intellectual baggage they need to become critical citizens who are engaged with society and feel connected with the community.

For this reason, the learning environment at the Hyperion Lyceum is open, contemporary and inspiring.

Openness and exploration

Het nieuwe schoolgebouw reflecteert de onderwijsvisie door een opmerkelijke openheid waar tegelijkertijd genoeg te ontdekken valt. Deze mix van open- en beslotenheid stimuleert zowel het individuele werken als het samenwerken. ZENBER Architecten was hierbij verantwoordelijk voor het interieurontwerp waarbij ook de wensen en voorkeuren van het ontwerpteam, bestaande uit leerlingen, docenten, ouders en andere personeelsleden zijn meegenomen. Ector Hoogstad Architecten is verantwoordelijk voor de architectuur.
Het Hyperion Lyceum is trots op de grootse en tegelijk speelse architectuur die gevarieerd en eigentijds onderwijs mogelijk maakt: innovatieve science- en studielabs, een geweldig auditorium, lokalen, groepsruimtes en individuele werkplekken. Maar ook ateliers voor beeldende vorming, muziekstudio’s en gymzalen met een weids uitzicht.

Innovative science and study labs with unique functional design

The interior has been kept deliberately simple in order to enable students and teachers to adapt the space pragmatically and creatively. The classrooms are designed to facilitate the teaching system. The science and study labs have been giving a unique functional design: much larger than usual, they enable different groups to be taught various types of practical or theory classes simultaneously. An example of this is the science lab featuring laboratory facilities, a teaching area and space for both individuals and groups to work in.

All corners and floors have an overview of the entire building, which of course is bathed in natural daylight. At the same time, not all of the passageways have been designed as corridors, making it sometimes necessary to cross through a classroom to discover another place. This search for unexpected places encourages interaction between students and teachers. The layout has been kept as flexible as possible, with wide stairs also serving as a stage for presentations in the central forecourt and the large central slide not only catching the eye but also serving as a popular meeting place.

Cosy corners and flexible usage

The reception desk with its warm wooden frame enjoys a central position within the building, with a view of both entrances and the park and canal sides. Opposite it are cosy alcoves for people who wish to work together or concentrate individually.
The refectory can be put to multiple uses, for lunch, study, events and meetings. The refectory kitchen is open and outward-looking, connecting the people preparing the food with visitors to the refectory that is zoned and spotlighted by sunny yellow domed lighting.
In view of the Hyperion’s commitment to sustainability, a deliberate decision has been made to reuse existing furniture, supplemented by new and bespoke furnishings. The floor-to-ceiling shelving in the library is a bespoke design derived from the impressive libraries of the Renaissance. The books can be accessed via movable ladders that are lit invitingly.
At the centre between the coloured outer walls, is a warm yellow patio with a sunny look and feel. Viewed from the street, the forecourt is a particular eyecatcher, also serving as a meeting place for students. The warm daylight reflects inwards, creating a warm and welcoming effect.


Client: Hyperion Lyceum / VOvA
Location: Amsterdam
GFA: 8.900 m²
Completion: 2018

Project team ZENBER: Eric Wezenberg, Ingrid Heijne, Diederik Mulder
Building architect: Ector Hoogstad Architecten
Building consultancy: ICS adviseurs Amsterdam

Contractor: Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma
Photography: ZENBER Architecten