At the Heart of a Community: School in Ergolding
Clients: Landkreis Landshut
Architects: ARGE Behnisch Architekten Architekturbüro Leinhäupl + Neuber GmbH
Location: Am Sportpark 8, 84030 Ergolding (DE)
In Ergolding bei Landshut, which is around 70 km north of Munich, demand for a secondary school was growing. In 2011, the project team of Behnisch Architekten and the Leinhäupl + Neuber studio won the competition to build a school between a federal road and the Painthner Weiher. The angular shape is embedded in the landscape, facing away from the road, which has led to a main access from the north. The special needs education centre and several sports fields are in the direct vicinity.
From outside, the schoolhouse presents itself in gleaming white. Only the undersides of the jutting areas continue the colour of the interior. The window bands underscore the horizontality of the structure and let light evenly into the rooms. The fact that they face north means that they are protected both from overheating in the summer and from the noise of the road. Skylights have been installed in the dividing walls to allow the sun to be seen even in the classrooms, which are 8 m deep. Moreover, mobile flaps on the façade reflect the daylight into the corridors. Light sensors control the addition of LED illumination as needed.
The large hall is not only a place of assembly and a roofed-in place to take a break, it is also an access space that extends over all levels. In other words, it is the heart of the school. Ground-floor access leads to the cafeteria, music area, administration, library and gymnasium. Free-standing stairways lead to the three upper levels. As orientation, each one has its own colour: the ground floor is yellow, the level above it orange, then green. Finally, the third upper storey, which is home to the specialized rooms for chemistry, physics and biology, is blue.
Along with public areas such as the cafeteria and gym, and private zones in the classrooms, this design also includes semi-public areas for flexible learning. Each of these multipurpose spaces has two dedicated rooms which offer the opportunity to support small groups and give attention to individual children. Even the corridors can be understood as extensions to the classrooms, for they offer informal spaces for group work of all kinds at decentralized learning stations. The protrusions and recesses of the façade form benches and tables of various heights.
The reinforced-concrete construction with a thermal insulation system concludes with slightly sloping, planted roofs which collect and save rainwater. In addition, geothermal probes in the recreation yard cover 85 % of the heating need. Combined with a gas boiler, even peak loads are covered.