“Future school buildings” at AEDES Architecture Forum Berlin

The construction and design of school buildings in Germany faces major challenges. Particularly in metropolitan areas, student numbers are continuously rising and, according to all forecasts, population growth is set to continue in the coming years.


© Grüntuch Ernst Architekten, Fotos: Celia de Coca


This is why new school buildings, including extensions and renovations of existing school buildings, are one of the central topics of investment policy throughout Germany today. In Berlin alone, additional space for around 70,000 new school children will be needed by the 2024/25 school year. Approximately 5.5 billion euros will be spent from 2017 to 2026 on the refurbishment and/or expansion of existing schools; about 40 new school buildings will be erected.


“Future school buildings”
25  June – 8 August, 2019
AEDES Architecture Forum
Christinenstraße 18, Berlin


Against this backdrop, the exhibition initiated and curated by Beate Engelhorn at Aedes Architecture Forum presents 12 contemporary school buildings in Europe that are exemplary for the implementation of current educational and urban planning models. The exhibition will be introduced by a two-day conference with numerous contributions from experts from Germany and abroad.


© Grüntuch Ernst Architekten, Fotos: Celia de Coca

@ Agence Duncan Lewis


The school as an institution is increasingly changing in response to growing needs, for example, longer hours of care including homework supervision, up to models as an all-day school, that becomes a learning and living space providing also social education and support. In addition, the program of schools has become more diverse. Besides to modern technical equipment, schools today often have extracurricular offerings in music, literature and sports. Contemporary school buildings must not only have flexible spaces indoors but also outdoors, for various open-air and sports activities. It seems undisputed that spatial conditions have an effect on the behavior and performance of school children, so that space is frequently referred to in school education as a “third teacher”.


Simone Veils´s Group of Schools, Colombes/France, Dominique Coulon & Associés, Paris © Eugeni Pons



In addition to the school’s internal tasks, school buildings are increasingly assuming an important function in urban planning. They often provide community space, offer public access to their library, sports, and leisure facilities, and are used as a social space and gathering place for residents in the city neighborhood or rural community. The specific climatic conditions and geographical locations of the schools presented required different construction methods and technical features, which led to some of the unique aspects of the individual building projects.


HACKNEY NEW SCHOOL, LONDON / UNITED KINGDOM, Henley Halebrown Architects, London © Nick Kane


In order to address social change and growing awareness of the central importance of education, it is essential for school buildings to adapt to new educational concepts and the needs of modern, internationally competitive education standards. The exhibition and conference explore common strategies for future school design in dialogue with international experts.

– How should and must schools look like today?
– What kinds of spaces should school buildings provide?
– How should classrooms and common areas be designed?
– How can a school building be cleverly integrated into the urban or rural environment?

The exhibition features 12 international examples of contemporary school buildings from 11 European countries, whose multifaceted offerings invite visitors to reflect broadly on school architecture. Rounding out the exhibition program are research projects from a seminar on historical school buildings, learning, and teaching concepts at the Technical University of Ostwestfalen-Lippe under the guidance of Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Tillmann Wagner and Prof.-Vertr. Dipl.-Ing. Constantin von der Mülbe.


News source: Aedes Architekturforum
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