The existing Weiherbach primary school in Aichtal-Grötzingen is being trans­formed into a vibrant and forward-looking educa­tional campus. Renova­tions, additions and a new building will make the new ensemble a central place of active urban life for all genera­tions, where education, culture and community go hand in hand.

In order to distribute all the functions of the new educa­tional campus across the site in a well-struc­tured and meaningful way, while at the same time creating an inviting entrance to the campus from Schul­straße, our design relies on the construction of an excep­tio­nally compact new building. This not only maximises open space for play, but also optimises space efficiency with regard to cost effec­ti­veness and resource consumption while maintaining a high level of interior quality. Together with moderate inter­ven­tions in the archi­tecture of the primary school, an extension between the primary school and the connecting wing, and the addition for after-school childcare, the result is a vibrant education centre with short distances between buildings, allowing for a wealth of synergies across functions.

The primary school: As much as necessary and as little as possible

The listed 1920s school building and its two »gatehouses« dominate the entrance to the educa­tional campus. All the inter­ven­tions to the building fabric are therefore deliberately restrained, and the struc­tural upgrades are also moderate: A retention roof, new thermal insulation and triple-glazed wooden windows improve the school building’s indoor climate. Inside, the renovation creates bright, friendly spaces tailored to the needs of the pupils. All areas are connected in a coherent ring around the slightly enlarged atrium-like courtyard. Cluster areas and learning islands support modern working and teaching methods. A new vertical circu­lation core ensures barrier-free movement within the primary school.

A child-friendly and inviting design, high-quality sustainable materials, and aesthetic archi­tecture with maximum trans­pa­rency and lightness charac­terise the rooms of the preschool. The struc­tural grid gives clear articu­lation to the façade. On the outside, the building has a predo­mi­nantly wooden façade with a steady rhythm of columns and large expanses of windows.

A projecting »cornice«, half a metre deep, provides weather protection and reduces the amount of light from the high midday sun that can enter the building. Fabric solar shading gives the building a colourful accent. Large wooden windows with sills at seat height create group rooms suffused with daylight. At the same time, they afford views inside and give even the youngest children contact with the outside world – for uncom­pli­cated goodbyes and cheerful hellos.

Ergeschoss Grundriss des Bildungscampus Weiherbach in Aichtal

The new building is composed of two slightly offset three-storey blocks, rotated 90 degrees to each other, which accom­modate the preschool’s entire spatial programme, as well as all the »public« functions: The public library on the ground floor, set back slightly, invites the public to discover and read. As a place of lifelong learning, its central location on the campus makes it a prominent meeting point for children, parents and local residents. The club rooms and assembly hall, however, are accessed via a separate staircase. The public functions can operate independently of the preschool and school. At the same time, preschool and primary school children can easily reach the assembly hall and the public library without getting their feet wet.

The preschool: Every­thing has its place


Location plan

Develo­pment concept

Room program

Sustaina­bility concept

The additional spaces for after-school care are located so that they directly adjoin the existing facility. The single-storey structure of the new common activity room engages and interlocks with the existing building, echoing the urban typology of the primary school and the preschool. The spacious terrace above provides quiet areas for relaxation or outdoor creative work.

Aichtal / Baden-Württemberg
City of Aichtal
Time Frame
Approx. 6.600 m² GFA
Concept (compe­ti­titon, 2nd prize)


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