Client: Municipality of Geesthacht
Status: Competition (2015)
Clasification: 2 prize
Location: Geesthacht, Germany
Coordinates: 53.442179, 10.381003
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Scale: 1.000 ㎡ Medium
Types: Education, School
To unite the two existing separate schools into the so-called Bertha-von-Suttner School, we proposed a 120m long and 1 floor high bridge building that connects both schools spatially and functionally. Thus, in the future, it will be possible for the students, teachers and the school staff, to get barrier-free from one building to another and without the need to leave the building and to be exposed to the weather conditions.
The new building will be clearly identifiable from all directions and provide the new united school a specific identity, an address and a welcoming character. However, due to its straightforward design, it will not force itself in the foreground, but above all symbolize the new unity of the schools.
Since the sports areas between the schools already function as connecting elements, we added another ‘sports area’ in the form of a 100m running track inside of the new building to the existing school areas. From this track a very good view of the entire sports complex and the schools will be possible. However, the 100m running track has only symbolic, decorative and artistic value and is not supposed to be used for real sports.
The new building will connect the 2nd floor of the former secondary school to the 1st floor of the former upper town school. With the help of the existing staircases an internal network of paths will be created, whereby all areas of the new united school will be reached easily on foot in the future and a school with short distances will be created.
At the middle of the existing stairway between the two schools and directly under the multifunctional room of the new building, BOARD proposed a central school square: the Bertha-von-Suttner Square. With a kiosk, a seating area, a place to rent sports and play equipment, and a new lighting, the square will additionally contribute to the growing together of the two schools. In addition, a wheelchair and bicycle ramp will be added to the stairway.
The column-free building is conceived as a flexible learning and working landscape. Between the rooms there are always common areas or common rooms, which allow, together with the connecting corridor, synergies between the different usages, as spaces can be grouped and expanded. In that way, social areas and rooms for independent learning and working are created.
The openness and transparency of the spaces can be changed flexibly over time with the help of opaque lightweight walls or transparent glass walls. If, for example, many glass walls between the rooms are used, a visually continuous learning and working strip can be created. Is a complete openness desired, a completely transparent school life can be formed without any wall.
The proportions of the classrooms and the possibility of including the adjacent common areas, or group rooms, allow the most diverse forms of teaching. The possibilities range from the traditional teacher lecture to alternative forms of teaching with an open classroom, where students can devote themselves independently to a learning project.