Urban Agency



The new Edith Stein School in Ravensburg, Germany is designed as a 3 - 4-storey building with two inner, light-filled courtyards. The project has pursued goals of sustainability, functionality and open-minded pedagogy, resulting in a longitudinal, stepping volume with inner atriums offering transparency, clear orientation and connection between student and faculty areas.

The school is situated along and embedded within the context’s green corridor and has thus been orientated in order to ensure good opportunities to integrate and utilize the surrounding green qualities of the site. The main entrance is located in the center of the school complex, facing the future southern green corridor, connecting the outside directly to the school’s inner market square – the heart of the building. The three-story space establishes visual relations to both inside and outside areas. The open design enables flexible and multifunctional programming for daily school operations.

A focus on the open spaces surrounding the school has been central in the overall site design. The river shore area running along the south façade of the school is designed with a landscape promenade, diversely programmed, offering a wide range of leisure and recreational activities around and in connection to the Bleichenbacher river. A central path runs through the space, punctuated by two pedestrian bridges and accented on both sides by vegetative and open spaces offering opportunities for outdoor learning.

Green atriums reside in the center of both sides of the elongated building, providing natural light into all levels. The western courtyard opens up to the southern outdoor space and shore. The space establishes connections between the central marketplace as well as the cafeteria, offering additional spaces for dining. The eastern courtyard is designed as a small oasis that invites students to work and relax together in open air. Open corridors circulate around both courtyard atriums on the upper levels, connecting the classroom spaces to a central and easy to orient circulation. The corridors are also equipped with small break-out spaces and niches for lounging as well as for differentiated workplaces in the immediate vicinity of the classrooms.

The building design has a strong focus on ecological and high-quality environmental objectives. This starts with the multi-story building structure made of a hybrid wood construction where supports and beams are of high-strength beech and spruce cross-laminated timber make up the ceiling panels later filled for soundproofing and installations. Up on the roof, solar panels and green spaces are integrated, dedicated both to the urban gardening departments of the school as well as green classroom teaching terrace. To ensure construction efficiency, the facade is largely made up of prefabricated floor-to-ceiling wooden modules where repetition and pre-assembly can be prioritized which in turn can ensure a short assembly period. Furthermore, the facades are designed to offer a high proportion of windows to ensure good daylighting to ensure high-quality interior spaces.

Size: 20.902 sqm

Location: District of Ravensburg, Germany

Collaborators: Urban Agency, BEMV Architekten

Type: Competition

Status: Settled

Team: Henning Stüben, Heechan Park, Charlotte Klein, Gaspar Cánepa, Kristen Van Haeren

Urban Agency


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