The design for the expansion of the Ludwig Schwamb School in Darmstadt not only creates additional classroom and teaching space, but also vastly improves the school grounds. Five separate, one story, freeform additions connected to the original building fan out to create small courtyards between each of the additions, providing flexible space for such uses as gardens or arts and crafts areas. The two largest additions protect a new schoolyard at the south end of the building which leads to an outdoor classroom area, the soccer field, and the running track. New construction provides easy access to existing classroom and administrative buildings to the north.
The ground floor of the existing building becomes the central backbone of the school, creating a synergistic space connecting the new additions and encouraging an inclusive school culture. Floor to ceiling windows will be installed along the existing ground floor overlooking the small courtyards, creating transparency and clarity. Fire doors added to the three existing staircases are necessary safety features. The overall design creates an intuitive learning environment.
The southern additions, along with the school yard in the center, are also used for the supervised day-care program and may be isolated for after-school use. The southwestern wing includes the auditorium and the cafeteria, which can be separated by a mobile partition wall, and have direct access to the school yard. Both wings provide common areas and defined spaces to be used interchangeably during the regular school day and for after-school programs.