The town of Weißenhorn, a small community close to Ulm, in south-west Germany, wishes to extend their secondary school facilities with a new multi-purpose hall. Importantly, in the evenings and at weekends this will also serve as a public hall for the community.
The form and orientation of the new hall responds to the predominantly orthogonal arrangement of the surrounding buildings. A hallway leading off the main foyer provides a direct connection to the existing school building to the north. The foyer and support spaces are united by a gently undulating, roof which contrasts with the central hall and provides a transition to the surrounding park.
The foyer opens out to address the park and school yard, creating an inviting atmosphere for both school activities and evening events. The representative character of the public main entrance is accentuated by a new network of paths through the park. Protected by impressive tree canopies these paths serve to bring together the parking areas, the listed villa and planned hotel, in a harmonious ensemble.
The architectural language employed is derived from the different functional requirements of the building, whose individual components are clearly articulated in a compact form. The roof geometry of the central hall is developed in such a manner that daylight can flood into the space below, whilst photovoltaic panels can be used efficiently. During evening events, lighting will give the roof the impression of a “shimmering crown”, lending this small building a distinct identity.
The energy concept for the multi-purpose hall seeks to minimize the consumption of energy. The optimized building volume contributes to keeping operating costs down. The proposed timber construction is a response to primary energy concerns and is an appropriate use of locally available, natural resources.
Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart
Illerberger Strasse 12
2011, 2nd prize