Grüntuch Ernst Architekten: German School in Madrid - best architects 17 in Gold

Grüntuch Ernst Architekten

German School in Madrid

best architects 17 in Gold

education buildings


Madrid / Spain


Celia de Coca


The new German School in northern Madrid replaces the old and rather cramped premises in the city centre. With its exceptional education programme as well as evening theatre performances and concerts, the school is an important place of cultural exchange. The various multi-layered areas of use in the sprawling school are clearly defined as units within this ensemble. The individual buildings housing the kindergarten, primary school and secondary school each enclose a courtyard that frames views onto the landscape with its snow-covered mountains. The fusion of the building’s elements forms an overall structure that appears to have grown up organically on the spot and which unfolds a commanding sculptural presence. All common areas – the foyer courtyards, the cafeteria, the concert hall auditorium with a seating capacity of 750, and the sports hall – serve to connect the buildings. In the sheltered foyer courtyards, the students and kindergartners, numbering almost 1,800, gather and scatter under perforated roofs. The sculptural dynamism of the polygonal sky openings generates a dramatic interplay of light and shadow. A return to traditional simplicity coupled with technically innovative sophistication also characterises the design in terms of construction and building technology. The rediscovery of traditional methods – such as the use of an underground thermal labyrinth – ensures the long-term sustainable operation of the buildings.