With a primary focus on schools, kindergartens and housing design, (se)arch Architekten, a German architectural firm, based in Stuttgart, shared with us their proposal for an elementary school and kindergarten which won the first prize in an international competition. Situated in Uhland Park, in the outskirts of Tübingen, south of the Neckar River Channel and neighbouring the Lindenbrunnen Elementary School building, the two squared-plan volumes are designed as a replacement to the existing school. More images and architects‘ description after the break.
Responding to its function and taking into account the perception and identity of the child, the two units have varying heights; the slightly higher building accommodates am elementary school for grades 1 through 4, whereas the smaller unit acting as the kindergarten serves 3 groups of children. The two units have been designed in the form of ‘houses’ to help the children feel the relation of their homes to the public playing/learning space.
The buildings, due to their advantageous location in a park, seek permeability and open themselves to the landscape. Both houses are reached from a common, situated between the two, platform-like entrance area covered from above. This common space, together with the cafeteria and multifunctional rooms, is used as communication and meeting point.
The smaller kindergarten unit houses multipurpose space and administration at its entrance, whereas the group rooms are situated to the east, protected by the outside playing area. The bigger elementary school unit accommodates two storeys with classrooms in the upper level and cafeteria and multipurpose room downstairs.
The rooftops of the two volumes are perforated with two skylights, in this way creating a fifth facade for the buildings and permitting the illumination of the interior spaces flooding them with daylight.
The outer ‘shells’ of the houses consist of a resistance to aging, wood slats frame construction flocculated with cellulose. The laterals of the wood panels are treated with green and yellow paint, which gives a shimmering effect of yellow color for the kindergarten and green for the school. The interior is neutral white with drywall panels and sound absorbing ceilings.
Architect: (se)arch Architekten BDA Location: Tübingen, Germany Team: Stefanie Eberding, Stephan Eberding, Andrea Stegmaier, Agnieszka Sawczyn, Linda Jetter Project: EEA (European Economic Area) and WTO (World Trade Organization); International Limited Competition Program: Kindergarten and Elementary School Program Area: 1984m2 + 650m2 Status: 1st prize