The quest to find the simplest possible structure for a complex project is the motivation behind our design for this secondary school. It addresses the tension between a pastoral location and a manmade structure by positioning the large-scale school building prominently, yet also respectfully, in the vast landscape.
With its concentrated spaces arranged around an ample interior courtyard, the architecture of the school evokes the typology of a monastery. Where it diverts from this archetype is in the elevation of the two-story rectangular block floating on stilts and the prominence of its courtyard as a meeting place with a broad tiered seating area. The courtyard finds its counterpart in the indoor recreation hall, where massive swing doors extending across the entire length provide barrier-free access to the courtyard. The design seeks to create a space that encourages identification and integration, as well as strengthening the sense of community. The façade facing the courtyard features a geometric pattern of opaque color blocks alternating with stained and clear glass panes. The classrooms and labs lining the outer edge of the upper stories have recessed wooden balconies with outswing French doors, allowing the functional classroom space to expand into the outdoors. The guiding principle is to allow as much natural light into the building as possible – the solid stone walls keep the exterior temperatures at bay and ensure an inert, consistent climate indoors. Thanks to alternative energy strategies, consumption rates and operating costs are kept low.
Competition 1998, 1st prize
Investor: District Office Dachau
Gross floor area: 19113 m²
Gross volume: 76368 m³
Klein, Robert (Project Leader)
Tischner H. + Pache K., Ingenieurbüro Baustatik, Dachau (Structural design)
realgrün Landschaftsarchitekten mbH, Munich (Landscape design)
Transsolar Energietechnik, Munich (Energy planning)
Ingenieurbüro knab, Munich (Building services)
Ingenieurbüro Prof. Waubke + Kissinger, Bondruck (Façade)
Klingsohr Brandschutz, Ottenhofen (Fire proofing)