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Hessenwald School / wulf architekten

  • 04:00 - 26 January, 2017
Hessenwald School / wulf architekten
Hessenwald School  / wulf architekten, © Brigida González
© Brigida González

© Brigida González © Brigida González © Brigida González © Brigida González + 14

  • Architects

  • Location

    Wolfsgartenallee 8, 64331 Weiterstadt, Germany
  • Category

  • Project Team

    Alexander Vohl, Camilo Hernandez, Carina Kleinecke, Boris Peter
  • Area

    9541.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

    • Construction Management

      atp architekten ingenieure
    • Structural Engineer

      Erfurth & Mathes, Beratende Ingenieure
    • HVAC Planning

      Wüst und Partner
    • Electrical Planning

      e-plan Elektro-, Planungs- und Sachverständigenbüro
    • Landscape Architect

      Adler & Olesch Mainz Landschaftsarchitekten und Ingenieure
    • Client

    • More Specs Less Specs
    © Brigida González
    © Brigida González

    Text description provided by the architects. The Hessenwald School is located in a glade near the village of Gräfenhausen, a part of Weiterstadt (Darmstadt). It is a cooperative, lower secondary level comprehensive school with multiple tracks that allow student mobility among different school forms, such as academic high school, mid-level secondary school, middle school, and combined lower- and mid-level secondary school for a total of 700 pupils. The new building is subdivided into three pavilion-like elements grouped around a common center. The pavilions establish a sense of individuality and identity for the respective grade levels, and each has a multipurpose room and five classrooms on its two upper floors. The specialized classrooms, administration, cafeteria, and school kitchen are located at the entrance level of the pavilions.

    © Brigida González
    © Brigida González

    At the heart of the newly created ensemble are the common areas, such as the auditorium, the music room, and the recreation room, which have been designed as a large “public center.” The pavilions are grouped around this central hall, which is suffused with light and cites the natural surroundings with its wood surfaces and the terrazzo floor. The perforated sunshading in front of the peripheral gallery filters the daylight, creating an atmosphere much like that under the trees. All areas of the school ensemble can be coupled spatially.

    © Brigida González
    © Brigida González
    © Brigida González
    © Brigida González

    The design implements in built form the desired spatial division and recognizability of the grade levels and strengthens the genius loci, which lies in the uniqueness of the site and the appeal of the forest clearing. The architectural language of the new school suitably reinforces the conceptual clarity of the design. The serenely designed pavilions are clearly discernible as such. Their facades of exposed masonry coated with a light-gray whitewash are punctuated by large horizontal window openings with low sills.

    Ground Floor
    Ground Floor
    1st Floor Plan
    1st Floor Plan

    The special areas in the hallways and on the ground floor are deliberately designed to be transparent. This not only articulates the architectural form, but also develops a sensuous contrast between the classes, on the one hand, and the circulation and communal spaces on the other. A “reading platform” was developed for each grade-level area, creating zones within the flexibly usable area between the classrooms and defining a quiet retreat within the forum.

    © Brigida González
    © Brigida González

    The outdoor space is understood as a place that can be interpreted, and which draws its strength from the interplay between contact and retreat, between free play and group activity. The space between the buildings and the forest edge can be activated as needed with small garden rooms for different functions, such as a garden laboratory, tree nursery, school garden or green classroom.


    The school’s high energy standard is evidenced by its compliance with the Passive House Institute’s criteria for the primary energy demand of the entire building.

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    Project location

    Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
    About this office
    Cite: "Hessenwald School / wulf architekten" 26 Jan 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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