best architects 17
Stuttgart / Germany
The Schulzentrum Nord is built into the hillside at a site below Stuttgart’s famous Weissenhof Estate. Originally built in two stages between 1978 and 1982, it has not been modernised much since then. Since the floor plan of the existing structure was unsuited to contemporary learning and education concepts, a comprehensive restructuring and energy upgrade was planned for the entire building in order to create an architecturally and structurally modern school centre. The cubature and circulation system of the existing building were only marginally altered. The school centre’s clear horizontal structure is the defining feature that makes it stands out amidst the natural hollow formed by the terrain. This characteristic was intensified through the addition of recessed glazed surfaces with black profiles and bands of perforated aluminium panels, emphasising the stratification of the floor levels and the elongation of the façade. Thus, the original look of concrete-slab architecture that was typical at the time of construction has been reworked into a contemporary interpretation. Furthermore, the roof surfaces were planted again and partially enhanced through the addition of terraces. The atmosphere of the interior is characterised by the targeted use of colour, daylight and the graphic accents of the guidance system rather than specific materials, giving the building a new sense of openness, brightness and lightness.