The new school for children with special learning needs is situated at the edge of the town of Illertissen, at the boundary between the town and the open landscape. Here, children and young people requiring special pedagogic attention will spend the first years of school life, and here they will learn to manage their daily affairs and to live together in a community. Beyond responding to the functional and economic requirements of such a school, we wanted to create a special place that will foster individual development as well as the development of the entire school community. Pupils should like to go to this school, and it should be a dear memory in their adult years.
The compact two-storey complex is characterised by three houses accommodating the various functions. A central hall with a partly glazed roof is the communicative heart of the complex. This hall, which is oriented towards the town, is intended as both a general meeting place and as a setting for all kinds of school events. A generous open stair provides access to the gallery at the first floor level, from where one can overlook both events taking place within the hall and the landscape in front of the school. The hall is furnished in a straightforward, robust matter, serving as a transitional sheltered space between interior and exterior, rather than as a confined interior space. The structure and proportions of the complex respond to the surrounding buildings. The layout has been developed to facilitate one’s orientation through the space. Altogether, good spatial qualities have been achieved by simple means.