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30 mei 2017

Aalsterweg 3: the new premises of STE Languages

A meeting place for different cultures. An interior design to connect people. The language institute in the southern part of the Netherlands would like their interior design to reflect its professional and result-oriented nature as well as being open and welcoming. STE Languages is a society in a nutshell. Course participants need to feel at ease and welcome, and – above all – proud of their background. Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe created an interior design for the new premises of STE Languages that softens boundaries and offers plenty of space for everyone’s own unique background and story. This a meeting place where language connects us.  


The story about the floor design
This interior helps to connect people. The design features transparent walls and a well-designed floor with a theme that runs through all the 16 classrooms on the total of 1,100 m2 of floor space. The floor design has a colour scheme reflecting the various skin colours and it is shaped in patterns from around the world. This is how different cultures come together to form a new unity. Here, hospitality is given a new meaning.  



Informal interventions in formal settings

The best way to learn a foreign language is in your day-to-day life. So Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe created a place where you can have a chat with fellow course participants, spontaneously. This building is like a dictionary. For example, there are coat racks with words about the weather in different languages. And there are signs in the restrooms in various languages.
This design invites people to talk to each other. When they first arrive, all course participants put a small flag on a map to mark their country of origin. And another flag to show which language they have come here to learn. This is a great way to start a conversation. 


Learn more when you feel at ease
When people feel at ease in their learning environment, they will perform better and learn more. Patterns from various countries are shown on the Delft blue plates on the walls. The interior design encourages social interaction and invites people to strike up a conversation. 


Design: Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe, Geldrop

Photography: Jeroen van der Wielen, Eindhoven


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