ZENBER Architects designs a stimulating and vibrant interior with high quality learning and working spaces for the brand new MBO College Poort. The MBO College offers space for 3 types of level 4 training: Business (marking, economics, administration and trade), Sports (sport and exercise), Hospitality (tourism, hospitality management and art). Here you will find enterprising, creative and sporty students with the ambition to conquer the world.

The new building of ROC Flevoland is located in the Olympiakwartier Oost in Almere Poort. This location is characterised by a wide range of sports facilities. For other courses, too, there is a clear connection to the dynamics of the area: in addition to housing, there are also offices and recreation in this area. This provides a context-rich learning environment for students, in which future work situations are recognised and simulated. The school has public functions where visitors are also welcome, thus creating encounters between students and the residents and workers in the immediate vicinity.


The new building is characterised by a transparent and inviting entrance on the station square of Almere Poort. The central hall houses the reception and student service desk. The square feeling is brought inside by moss walls and trees in the hall and various seating and working areas among the greenery. The coffee corner near the entrance is visible from the street and is also accessible to visitors to the area and business start-ups.

An enormous wooden carpet in the form of a staircase starts from the central meeting hall and is the central heart of the MBO College, connecting the four floors via the atrium.

The ‘speakers corner’ on the grandstand is an accessible and public place for presentations and lectures by (local) talent, artists, entrepreneurs, athletes and students. Here, knowledge is shared, debates are held and performances are given in an open setting. And literally offers space for talent!

On the first floor, the staircase ends in the Grand Café. A lively place where students, teachers, staff and external parties can come together and make use of the catering facilities. It is a pleasant meeting space with various seating and working areas.

Companies and organisations are also welcome and form part of the community. The pioneer zone on the 1st floor offers flexible office workplaces for start-ups in an open and inspiring space with meeting rooms. This is where outsiders and students meet.


The staircase gallery continues into the light and fresh green atrium to the 2nd and 3rd floors. The grandstand offers a variety of work and areas. The walkway around the atrium, with train seats for studying or conferring, provides access to the classrooms.

“You come here for knowledge, ideas, to see acquaintances and to learn and work together in an attractive environment that stimulates and fizzes.”


In order to reinforce the concept of “my school”, in addition to the classrooms, practice areas and workplaces, zones have been created for each training cluster. In this “home base”, there is a living room atmosphere. These zones are characterised by coloured frames that are clearly visible from the atrium. They offer a small-scale setting in an open space with various learning and sitting areas and space for presentation and display. It is a place to sit together, to meet, to drink coffee or to discuss something. Where students and teachers come together in an informal setting.
The home base offers space for input and interpretation from the teams. Led by ZENBER Architects, students and teachers brainstormed together in a number of creative sessions about graphic expressions and quotes that are appropriate and recognisable for the educational cluster. This has resulted in striking illustrations on the walls, designed by ZENBER Architects in collaboration with the MBO College. This graphic layer contributes to a recognisable place, making students and staff feel at home among like-minded people.

Besides the recognisability of the training cluster, connecting is important for MBO College. Joint projects or crossovers between courses from different teams, inspiration from both sides, make up MBO College Poort. The central meeting zone and the various learning and working spaces in the interface between the zones provide the connection: these belong to everyone and encourage mixing.


Client: ROC van Amsterdam
Location: Almere
GFA: 7.000 m²
Completion: 2018

Project team ZENBER: Eric Wezenberg, Ingrid Heijne, Carlien den Uijl
Building architect: Burton Hamfeld + OZ Architects
Building consultancy: ICS Adviseurs

Contractor: Lithos Bouw en Ontwikkeling
Interior finisher: Hubbers B.V.
Graphic design: ZENBER Architecten
Photography: ZENBER Architecten