Aeres Hogeschool | Almere

Client: Aeres Hogeschool

Green Architect: MOSS

Location: Almere, The Netherlands

Construction Year: 2021

Project: Interior Biophilic Design

Green maintenance & installation:  Koninklijke Ginkel Groep

Photo credits: Jagrit Vij



MOSS implemented the green layer to help transform the Aeres College of Applied Sciences in Almere, The Netherlands, into a sustainable nature-inspired learning environment. The project is a testament to the power of biophilic design in improving the well-being and academic performance of students. In fact, Aeres College is the first school in the Netherlands to apply for the Platinum WELL certificate (read more about WELL standards and healthy buildings here).


An attending student at Aeres Hogeschool even said that biophilia and greenery should become the norm for academic institutions, to the extent that it should lose its novelty and become the norm.


MOSS initiated the green layer at Aeres College with the aim of creating a healthy and inspiring learning environment for the students, faculty, and staff of Aeres College. This would be the first green school in The Netherlands. The biophilic design principles were used to integrate nature into the campus in various ways.


The scope of interior green design includes planters on the ground containing lush tropical plants, a green wall, vertical planters against the facade of the stairs, where space was limited, integrated planters with hanging plant variations, and hanging green elements in individual classrooms.


MOSS’ green input reflected other, already existing biophilic elements on the upper floors which include the green roof terrace or the use of natural materials such as upcycled wood and the abundance of natural light. The experience of the green roof and the use of natural recycled materials, was further enhanced by MOSS’ work contributing to its overall status as energy neutral and climate-adaptive.


The green elements have not only improved the aesthetic appeal of the campus but have also contributed to the building’s climate-adaptive status. The greenery has provided opportunities for the students to observe and learn about plants and improve their general well-being by 15% (Interface: 2015), while also creating a sense of calmness and serenity in the campus environment. The students even discovered wild strawberries and herbs on the outdoor rooftop.


The success of the green project at Aeres College has been reflected in the positive feedback from the students, faculty, and visitors to the building. The biophilic environment has been found to have a positive impact on the well-being and academic performance of students, with studies showing that exposure to natural elements can improve concentration, reduce stress levels, and increase creativity (Interface: 2015)


In an interview, a student, Stijn Steenmeijer said that his “well-being and concentration increased by being surrounded by nature in both the indoor and outdoor environment.” He also went on to say that “when I stare at a bare wall, I fixate on it and optical illusions appear which makes me feel dizzy but adding plants in view  softens the gaze as the leaf shapes, natural details and natural colours are better for the eyes and also positively impact mental well-being.”

Overall, the green space at Aeres College is an example of how incorporating nature into the built environment is beneficial not only for the well-being of the individuals but also for the environment as a whole. The college serves as an inspiration for other schools and institutions to embrace biophilic design and create sustainable and nature-inspired environments.