In a prominent position outside the town center a new home for seven hundred pupils has been erected. The open, scenic environment, the unobstructed view of the fields and the proximity to the historic town fortifications offer an exciting setting for this new place of learning. The design uses the qualities of the surroundings best possible: Large, differentiated areas - opening to the green to the north or sunlight to the south - provide a place for communication, physical activity, or peace and quiet. The space is structured by deciduous trees and terraces at various levels offering protection, shade and a natural setting in the paved courtyards. Seating steps lend form to the sloping areas, serve as bleachers for school events and offer a popular meeting space for pupils to relax.
The design responds to these natural features by offering differentiated indoor and outdoor areas that form an interlocking, modeled school and educational landscape. The rising school grounds are divided into three main areas of differing heights: parking, school buildings, and sports facilities. The various buildings and functional areas are ranged along Kreuter Weg ending with the athletic fields. Parking spaces, bicycle stands, school buildings, schoolyard, and the activity and green areas are harmonically integrated into the slope and have barrier-free access. The school’s horizontal orientation with its subtly projecting wooden roofs and minimal height gradation allows for an open view over the fields and greened rooftop landscape from atop the town’s historic fortifications.
A new ventilation system ensuring an optimal, controlled supply of fresh air was developed for the project. Ventilation units, which also serve to heat and cool the outdoor air, are located throughout the facades. Preconditioned air is directed in a controlled fashion through the perforated cladding and into the interior spaces. This minimizes the amount of space that would otherwise be taken up by technical areas and complicated ductwork. Exposed ferroconcrete walls serve as a thermal storage medium, while highly reflective curtains and the glazing’s low-energy transmittance prevent the rooms from overheating in summer. These forward-looking measures ensure a high degree of thermal, acoustic, and visual comfort, while at the same time saving energy.
Six school buildings and a sports hall ranged along a “school street” are woven together into a well-structured campus. Indoor and outdoor areas have a close connection to the landscape, diverse courtyards, and a central communicative atrium create an inspiring educational environment. The school buildings, the schoolyard, athletic fields and green areas are harmoniously integrated into the sloping hill and have barrier-free access. The central meeting point is the “school street” connecting the individual buildings, while creating an area of communication. The two-story auditorium with its generous stair and seating elements offers an attractive location for events and interaction. The cafeteria, teaching kitchen, music rooms, and specialized classrooms are located at entrance level; the art studios, workshops, administration, library, full-day care area, and the school buildings are grouped in the two upper floors. The class and group rooms are organized around a marketplace, which can be used as an activity area for each grade. With the help of a mobile partition this area can be enlarged to include the multipurpose room. Study niches in the classrooms allow for instruction in small groups and can optically be seperated by rotating double-sided blackboards. Robust concrete surfaces and fine stoneware tiling in the school street offer a contrast to the soft carpet and rubber flooring in the school buildings. The facade is characterized both inside and out by wood and glass.
School principal Sonja Kalisch summarizes: "From the very beginning the school was involved in the planning, discussions and options. The pedagogical concept of the school was the fundamental base to develop a contemporary school, aligned to the needs of the users. A constant exchange enabled the development of a modern, open and inviting school building: The central common areas such as the clusters, the auditorium or the beautiful outdoor facilities offer a unique living space "school".
Behnisch Architekten was founded in 1989 and works out of five offices – Stuttgart, Munich, Weimar, Boston and Los Angeles. The firm enjoys a global reputation for high-quality architecture that integrates environmental responsibility, creativity, and public purpose. From the beginning, Behnisch has prioritized the social dimension of architecture and the quality of the urban environment. In over 30 years, the firm has created a diverse portfolio of projects mainly in Europe and North America.
ALN Architekturbüro Leinhäupl + Neuber was founded in 1977 and works out of three locations: Landshut, Berlin and Milan. ALN stands for intelligent architecture, sophisicated detailed solutions and sustainable construction. Think globally and act locally. Consultation, planning and realisation are closely interconnected, whereby the user is the focus of all considerations. The aim is to identify the conceptual, social and economic challenges and to find intelligent architectural solutions.