The project aims to establish an architectural symbiosis between the landscape and the building, giving each equal weight. The design underscores the merits of the hillside location by extending the buildings along the contour of the ridge and integrating the architecture agreeably into its surroundings.
Wide curved tiers form a large, continuously flowing learning environment on as few stories as possible. The layout sets functional clusters around a courtyard for the two schools sharing the complex, along with communal areas and a sports hall. The depth of the tiers offers maximum flexibility in the configuration of the clusters as well as ideal exposure to natural light and the option to add separate access points. Some zones can be partitioned off using folding glass panels, making the space more versatile. The open plan layout on each floor and the large tiered seating areas form distinct spaces that encourage cooperation and community. The entire building complex is designed to provide equal access and usability for all users; in its clear-cut, non-hierarchical configuration, the design embodies the guiding principle of the two schools.
The Wetzlar Vocational School Centre enables every student and every teacher to share its public spaces and rooms. With its focus on openness, the design can capitalize on simple and robust materials, such as the larch timber panels used for the façades and in some interior spaces. Glass and aluminum partition doors are among the characteristic features of the interior space.
Competition 2012, 1st prize
Investor: Kreisausschuss des Lahn-Dill Kreises
Gross floor area: 32458 m²
Gross volume: 137610 m³
Wagner, Alexandra (Project Leader)
Gil Muñoz, Leticia (Project Leader)
Knippers Helbig Ingenieure GmbH, Stuttgart (Structural design)
realgrün Landschaftsarchitekten, Munich (Landscape design)
hhpberlin, Munich (Fire proofing)
Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Munich (Energy planning)
vizoom, Berlin (Visualization)