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Campus Kottenforst, Waechter + Waechter Architekten, In der Wehrhecke 1, 53125 Bonn-Röttgen (DE), Foto: Thilo-Ross

Light-Flooded Learnscapes: Campus Kottenforst in Bonn

The Kottenforst is a forest near Bonn; large parts of it are protected conservation areas. In this pristine context, the new learning location for the German Society for International Cooperation opened in 2018.

The ensemble on the Kottenforst campus includes apartments, administration rooms and a care facility for the children of seminar participants. The new training centre by Waechter + Waechter Architekten extends the existing buildings by various learning stations, a café and large recreation areas. The academy trains specialists in international sustainable development who will later work as advisors in developing countries.

The arrangement of the floor plan is based on a grid consisting of two different shapes: a square measuring 5.25 m x 5.25 m and a narrower, rectangular variant measuring 3.50 m x 5.25 m. Along the axes, wooden supports form the constructive skeleton for the two-storey structure. Special pavilion roofs crown the  modules: two of every four roof inclines is glazed, allowing light indoors. Moreover, white-painted wood and a light-coloured floor of polished terrazzo accentuate the clear, inviting character of the rooms.

The structure, which has an area of 6,245 m², seems detailed and well-proportioned thanks to the modular division of the façade. The different levels stand apart from each other by means of their different designs: upstairs, the façade is covered with vertical, wooden sunshade slats, while the ground floor appears as a smooth plinth. 

Resource-saving, low-emission materials contribute to the sustainable aspect of the design concept and improve the air quality inside the building. The requirements for both primary and overall energy are low, while energy efficiency is high, which is why this project was awarded gold standard certification from the German Sustainable Building Council. 

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