As much fresh air as possible

The first open air schools in the Netherlands were founded early in the 20th century. They quickly became popular. There was even a conference on the subject in 1928. The open air schools, such as the municipal school that was built in 1924-1925 in the Vondelpark, were originally intended for children with poor health. The ‘Association of Open Air Schools for Healthy Children’ was founded in 1927 and promoted open air schools, even for healthy children. Its goal was to get the children outdoors as much as possible.

 

View of the open air school, probably 1930s

Better academic achievements

Fresh air and sunlight would make the children less susceptible to illnesses such as tuberculosis and would improve their learning. The Association commissioned Jan Duiker to build an open air school: the well-known school on Cliostraat (street) in Amsterdam-Zuid that came into use in 1931.

 

Lessons were given on the back terrace, probably 1930s

Lessons on the terrace

The open air school in Oosterpark (neighbourhood) is a compact building. The classrooms, refectory, shower area and the infirmary were all brought into one building. The terrace, that was closed off from the classroom by sliding doors, was used for outdoor lessons as well as to let the children relax. The sliding doors and the light weight furniture made it easy to give lessons either indoors or outdoors.

 

Classroom bordering the terrace, probably 1930s