Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world
Nelson Mandela

Campus UWC Maastricht

“The world in a village is one way to describe the design for our new campus. It is an ensemble of buildings given a contemporary design. It’s a small settlement, organised as a campus and located in a beautiful and verdant setting. This is where students from diverse countries will spend an important part of their lives. At UWC Maastricht, they will receive an academic education specially tailored for them to discover their own talents and abilities. They will live together with their peers for a relatively brief period of time, or perhaps a little longer, making lifelong friends as they do so. The combination of Pre-Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary education alongside residential facilities makes this educational establishment something unique in the Netherlands’’.

Setting and Location

The new complex was constructed in a parklike environment, which is itself part of the country estate zone in Maastricht’s north-eastern area. The site is surrounded by sport fields, an English-style nature reserve and new housing. The site as a whole and its main buildings face the access path, but in the complex itself you experience a carefully created sense of seclusion created by the pavilions and the focus on the existing pond. Arriving by the path, visitors first cross over a bridge that is only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. To the left and right you will see the main buildings for the Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Schools. If you cross over the central plaza you will see the residences and the Mensa.

Interaction and hanging out

You are unlikely to do well at school if you don’t feel at ease socially. It’s no coincidence then that the integrated design for UWC Maastricht attaches equal importance to social interaction and learning. This approach is clear in the entire layout as well in the individual buildings and floor plans.

A wing for the very youngest

The educational building’s layout provides all students of options for both classroom education and other types of education. In the south wing the very youngest students work in the Pre-Kindergarten and Primary school section. There is a wide corridor area on each floor designed for multifunctional use.

The secondary building also contains a little gymnasium and library especially set up for Pre-Kindergarten and Primary students.

The primary school has its own outdoor playground, so that the younger students can play together in a semi-protected environment.

On the ground floor of the Secondary School, you will find a spacious library which is designed to provide areas for self-study and for working on projects and tasks. Next to the main entrance there is the Atrium, a large area that can be used for performances and meetings. On the first floor the areas for creative subjects such as design and drama are clustered together. The music rooms are also located in this wing in a special soundproof zone. The laboratories and classrooms of the second and third floor are located around a central collective zone designed for multifunctional use.


One hundred and eighty UWC Maastricht residential students can be housed in the three on-site residences. They live here in small groups, with four students sharing a bedroom. Each floor has six bedrooms plus an apartment for the residence mentor. Each floor has a common room that includes a basic kitchen. Students come together in the Mensa for breakfast and dinner.

Sustainability and character

The design sets high ambitions for sustainability. From the very beginning a lot of thought was put into the environment, energy and value for the future. The construction materials were chosen on the basis of their solid quality and recyclability. The heating system is based on a geothermal heat pump system. The ventilation in the classrooms meets the requirements of ‘’Frisse Scholen’’ a Dutch government programme intended to encourage schools to reduce energy use and improve indoor air quality. The CO2 levels are measured for each room and the ventilation is adjusted appropriately. Ventilation, heating and lighting will only be turned on in the classrooms when people are actually present.

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