The roof is coming off!
06 November 2020

The roof is coming off!

Last week we witnessed a very special spectacle at Montessori-school ‘t Ronde’ in the Dutch town of Leusden: the entire roof came off! It was part of a big renovation project the school is currently undergoing.


Construction company Jansman Bouw is transforming the building, extending and converting it into a modern Montessori Child Centre based on the design by architect agency StudioWA!.

 © Architect StudioWA!
© Architect StudioWA!

Lifting the roof

One of the main parts of the renovation is raising the height of the central space of the school. This will provide more space and light, whilst maintaining the unique design of the building.


The idea behind increasing the height of the central space was ‘taking the roof off’ by lifting the wooden roof construction. This way, a support structure could be established, after which the roof could be placed at the new height. 



Nine lifting points!

But how do you safely lift up an entire wooden roof? To achieve this, lifting specialists Wagenborg Nedlift were recruited to assist. Engineer Rob Reefman of Wagenborg’s expertise centre Wagenborg Engineering and work planner Auke Engelbertink put their heads together to look into the issue.


An action plan was established, in close collaboration with the construction specialists of Jansman Bouw. First, Jansman reinforced the roof with wooden reinforcement constructions. Meanwhile, the Wagenborg Nedlift team focused on the lifting method. Due to its unique design, the plan involved lifting the roof at 9 lifting points, to ensure the forces in the roof were always and well under control.


Wednesday November 4th was the big day when the thought process was put into practice. Wagenborg Nedlift brought its 400-ton mobile telescopic crane to the location to get the job done.


Exactly according to plan, the entire roof was safely lifted and subsequently left in mid-air for a while. This allowed for the support structure to be heightened. Somewhat later, the roof could be put back in the new, precisely corresponding, position.


Under supervision of the crane driver, councillor Erik van Beurden was given the honour to carry out this symbolic act.

Finished in 2021

The construction works will take some more time to complete and it is expected that the new child centre will be put into service in the next school year.

Watch the project pictures here!


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