New Primary School Langenpreising

Langenpreising, Germany

The municipality of Langenpreising plans to replace the existing building of its primary school in the historic center of the community with a new building. It is expected that it will be better adapted to meet changing social and educational needs and provide space for teaching up to eight school classes. The brief provides scope for the development of a comprehensive concept for the space between the primary school and the buildings adjoining that space towards the south - the gymnasium, existing kindergardens and the Zankstadl, a building that has recently undergone refurbishment.

The small plot of land available for the task provides conditions which are ideal for the creation of a sheltered environment for young children. The existing network of paths, environmental conditions as well as the boundary created by the residential buildings in the north as well as the access through the Prisostraße in the east will all feed into the design concept for the new school. Buildings, entrances, activity areas as well as the schoolyard at the hub of the school intermesh with green areas and thereby result a carefully sculpted environment for learning and physical activity. This is the key design theme for the new school building. Thanks to this a place of shelter can be created which encourages learning through probing curiosity and by experimenting and which provides ample opportunities for romping about but also for resting.

The two-storied volume grows organically from within itself in east-westerly direction. In keeping with the educational concept of the school the classrooms are arranged around a market place. This results almost naturally in two learning buildings underneath a single roof which are linked to each other around a common core. The entrance area towards Prisostraße on the one hand and the open area facing the schoolyard on the other are designed to accentuate special exterior spaces. School life will thus flow into the new school building and out again, with the building itself functioning as a space of continuous movement and communication for all visitors of the building.

The two wings of the building cradle the school auditorium - the heart of the school. It caters to a wide range of different uses, as movement or play zone, as supervised area during midday or for school events. Also the school’s secretariat, admin rooms, teacher area and a multi- purpose room that can also be used for extramural activities and combined with the auditorium are located here. The circulation spaces between them have been designed as informal zones for activities and communication. All classrooms on the upper story are configured around a market place which, together with the corridor spaces, can be used for educational work as an “extended classroom”. Areas which are specifically dedicated to learning are thus contrasted with open and unbounded learning environments, providing scope for different teaching concepts.

The mode of construction of the new school building emulates the rural character of the historic core of the community. While the load-bearing structure of the building has been designed as a reinforced concrete skeleton, its outer appearance will be largely and consistently be characterized by timber. The contrast between the pitched roofs and bent façade with its vertical wooden cladding and the transparent stick frame façade gives the school its unique and distinctive identity. A bright and wide-ranging palette of different colors brings out the liveliness and naturalness of the school building, inside as well as outside.

Location

Langenpreising, Germany

Client

Gemeinde Langenpreising

Architect

Behnisch Architekten, München

Competition

2015, 2nd prize