The heart of the new Ergolding Secondary School is a large open atrium that serves as an assembly hall, an interior meeting point, a visual connection between the school’s various departments and functions. Through this central hub, students can easily and intuitively find their way from the classrooms on the upper levels down to the music area, the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and the recreation rooms that sit on the ground level.
The hallways that lead from the classrooms and workshops gradually open up and broaden to become ‘extensions of the classrooms’ themselves with individual and group working spaces. These provide the students, teachers and parents with informal meeting points for gathering, planning extracurricular activities, and exchanging information. These ‘learning landscapes’ essentially strengthen the pedagogical work within the new building.
The classrooms are setup for flexible and versatile layouts that are informed more by the needs of the students than by pure, lecture-based teaching. Different working methods, both noise-intensive collaborative group work and concentrated, individual desk work, are both fulfilled by decentralized ‘learning stations’ where alternative, interactive educational situations can develop.
The school accommodates 800 students with four classes per grade level and includes a cafeteria, a library, areas for assisted studying, breakout rooms for play and relaxation, as well as a two-field gymnasium that is also available for use to external groups.
On the ground floor, the daycare links to the exterior through the schoolyard, and to the interior, to the music room, the arts room, and the computer labs. The third floor houses the natural sciences: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Following advice from educational consultants, the teachers’ prep space and workrooms have been placed between the individual lecture rooms and laboratories. For each of the three natural sciences, a flexible classroom has been planned that can be used both as large lecture space, or divided into smaller classrooms through a partition wall.
An individual climate and comfort concept has been developed for the school that accounts for the siting and orientation of the building. It was the goal to achieve visual, thermal and air quality with optimized energy consumption weighing up the investment costs and the costs of operation, with the use of regenerative resource and minimal input of technical appliances.
The most efficient system in terms of energy and economic resources is the combination of a heat pump for the base load demand for heating/cooling (covers 85%) and a gas-fueled boiler for peak-load demands. The heat pump is used over the thermally-activated reinforced steel concrete slabs.
The primary energy demand undercuts the current Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2009) by 37%.
The natural daylight is optimized by light directing systems that bring daylight in the north facing classrooms and impacts both to students’ and teachers’ comfort, attentiveness, and well-being. The energy demand for artificial lighting can be reduced. Throughout the whole building LED lighting is used and saves up to 70% of energy consumed compared to conventional lighting systems.
The new Ergolding Secondary School is a simple, technically optimized structure that establishes a warm, colorful and inviting interior for learning, one that reacts to and reinforces the qualities of the School's pedagogical vision.
Behnisch Architekten Behnisch Architekten was founded in 1989 and works out of three offices – Stuttgart, Munich, and Boston. These offices are directed by Stefan Behnisch and his partners Robert Hösle (Munich), Robert Matthew Noblett (Boston) and Stefan Rappold (Stuttgart). Originally established as a branch office of Günter Behnisch’s practice Behnisch & Partner the Stuttgart office became independent in 1991 and has subsequently developed into an international practice. The search for innovative and sustainable solutions making optimum use of natural resources has produced a rich variety of buildings. Architekturbüro Leinhäupl + Neuber GmbH Established 1977 the 2nd generation is now running the architectural office of ALN Leinhäupl + Neuber. The user being the centre of all considerations the 35 team members of both long experienced and young dynamic architects and engineers work on various projects of very different scale and approach.