Staggered volumes play with the openness of the school’s location in the southwesternmost corner of Potsdam’s brand-new urban quarter. At the street, the two largest volumes intersect with a large inverted corner, establishing a generous entrance court to the school and the other public amenities in the building, which include a sports hall and youth recreation center.
This formal response brings the school closer to the neighbourhood, and creates vitality that strengthens the community. The structural concept follows a flexible spatial grid through all levels, each with a different footprint, creating a flowing range of interlocked indoor and outdoor spaces with alternating relationships to both the active neighbourhood street to the north and the verdant landscape to the south. A landscape of open learning areas meanders between the enclosed forms of standard classrooms. Flooded with light and sweeping views inside and out, there is space for light recreational activities and informal teaching encounters outside of traditional formats.
Prefabricated concrete elements construct the grid, the exterior frames of which are filled with either floor-to-ceiling glazing, ribbon windows with interior benches, or brick-clad infill panels; a clear dialogue is opened with the historical materialsation of the surrounding context while maintaining a contemporary adaptation. This construction ensures a simple and familiar assembly, low maintenance costs, and a durable envelope that patinates elegantly over time.