Längenfeldgasse – Primary and Vocational School
This highly urban extension building for a pre-existing school campus fosters modern pedagogy, features innovative school furniture and reveals surprising learning landscapes – both inside and outside. It contains a novel combination of a 17-class Primary school (children 6-10 y) and a vocational school, consisting of 23 classes (students 15-19 y).
The primary school is on the ground floor and first floor, while the vocational school features a slim, vertical design with a smaller footprint in the upper floors. All roofs are learning terraces.© Hertha Hurnaus
An educational room (core group room) in the primary school: the surrounding green is omnipresent throughout the space. The shelves are placed along the facade within the children´s reach. A mirror on top reflects the light and the sun into the room.© Hertha Hurnaus
Adjacent terraces are paired with classrooms on all floors. They form open classrooms for outdoor learning.© Hertha Hurnaus
Gym in the basement with natural light coming from the street level. On the upper right, the ceiling displays the bottom side of the plenary staircase situated on the ground floor of the primary school.© Hertha Hurnaus
The perforated profile facade allows for an ephemeral building closure without any roof edging board, and forms a smooth silhouette against the sky. The facade changes its appearance according to the atmospheric conditions.© Hertha Hurnaus
The extension building for a pre-existing school campus aims to strengthen the urbanistic position of the whole complex and gives it an fac(ad)e. It also includes an old 2100 m2 orchard and integrates the nearby park in the views from the classrooms.
Both schools have separate entrances. The vocational students enter and walk straight up to the 2nd floor. The ground floor is the primary school's communicative heart, with a wide restaurant, an atrium, a plenary staircase and views through the building.
The primary school consists of four clusters, each with four to five educational spaces that are grouped around a learning landscape. The team rooms for teachers within each cluster are all linked through a terrace in the inner courtyard.
A large terrace above the primary school and staggered terraces connected through external stairs are an integral part of educational space-related considerations. They also enable children of all ages to mix and mingle.
The vocational school is accommodated in the vertical part of the building. There is a “practice firm” on the top. Inner courtyards and cleverly placed windows ensure a large amount of daylight in both schools and on all floors, even in the basement.
Clusters: The architecture allows educators to act as companions of small groups of children of various ages, from different classes. Each educational room also has an appendix that can be used as a nest or an oasis of quietude.
The school meets all requirements of contemporary teaching thanks to its spatial-pedagogical concept for project-based learning and free appropriation of knowledge. The custom designed storage spaces can easily be reached by children on their own.
The primary school meets all requirements of contemporary teaching thanks to its spatial-pedagogical concept. It consists of four clusters, each with four to five educational spaces that are grouped around a learning landscape. The architecture allows educators to act as companions of small groups of children of various ages, from different classes. The building serves the purpose of acquiring knowledge and practices in many different ways. Each educational room has an appendix that can be used as a nest or an oasis of quietude. The team rooms for teachers within each cluster are all linked through a terrace in the inner courtyard to enhance informal exchange.
An age-related adaptation of the cluster system is realized in the vocational school in the upper floors. A large multifunctional space and the open spaces operate as points of contact between both schools.
The need for a greater number of educational facilities in urban areas can become a catalyst for unusual solutions. Here, in an already densely developed area, the school has six stories and is therefore relatively high in the Viennese context: it ensures that the building requires as little ground area as possible in order to preserve a large green area for the pupils.
The primary school, which is extremely compact, is situated in the horizontal part of the building on the ground floor and first floor, in a rectangular shape of 50 by 64 meters. The vocational school is accommodated in the vertical part, which tapers towards the top. There is a “practice firm” on top of the building, overlooking the city and giving the young students the opportunity to enjoy conditions usually only available in fancy offices: it gives them mental and literal space to plan a bright career.
A large terrace above the primary school and staggered terraces connected through external stairs are an integral part of educational space-related considerations. Here, the school is activated as a landscape in the city and a place to thrive.
Inner courtyards and cleverly placed floor-to-ceiling windows ensure a large amount of daylight and direct views to the outside, without feeling exposed. Inside, mirrors enhance the light and the outside views, creating a “continuous learning landscape” and a new spatial sensation.
The custom designed storage spaces can easily be reached by children on their own. Using the exterior walls, the furniture nevertheless doesn’t obstruct the incidence of daylight. A specially developed wall system provides an additional skylight with a light deflector above the shelves, flooding the inner space with daylight.
The stairs between the terraces leading into the garden are an important connective element. They serve as emergency exits and are designed in a way that will be fun for children to use, but also suitable for teaching outside.
The facade consisting of corrugated sheet with an underlay of light blue wind paper changes its appearance according to the atmospheric conditions. The ferroconcrete skeleton structure with partition walls in lightweight design and built in brick surfaces in the facade, allows the school to adapt to changes for further development.