One building – two schools / Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium/text


Location: Göttingen
Competition: 1.Prize 2005
Client: City of Göttingen
Construction Period: 2006–2007
Work Phases: 1–9
Gross Floor Area: 2.600 m²

One building – two schools / Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium

The high school „Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium“ is the first European school in Lower Saxony, the primary school „Hölty Schule“ is situated on the same property, directly adjoining. In 2005, our office won the competition to realize a new construction that can be used by both schools.

The simple construction, completed in 2008, is positioned between both schools at a slope and therefore has two entrance levels. Towards the primary school, the building has four floors, towards the other school three floors, as it is situated three meter higher. The main entrance opens into the foyer and canteen in the ground floor, the class rooms of the high school are located in floor one and two. The class rooms for the primary school can be found on level -1 and are accessible through an additional entrance. All class rooms are directed towards the green surrounding. Thus, the corridors staircases and side rooms are looking towards the schoolyard.

The construction of the façade refers to the changing colors of the surrounding birch trees. By freely quoting a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, the differently colored panels interpret the light tree trunk within its dark horizontal markings. While the exterior image is calm, the interior design is colorful.

Each floor has an individual color scheme: While floor -1 appears in a brown-orange, the colors develop with each floor of the building along a detailed color scale. In combination with the horizontally structured façade, the color concept of the interior results in a coherent appearance.