The new building in northern Madrid replaces its predecessor building in the city centre. With its special educational program and evening theatre performances and concerts, the German School Madrid is an important site for cultural exchange. In this large complex, the school’s diverse areas of use are legible as clearly defined units. The individual buildings – the kindergarten, the primary school and the secondary school – each frame an inner courtyard. All patios open up to the surrounding landscape and a vista of the snow-covered mountains.
Reflecting both the requirements of the architectural brief and the topography of the site, the buildings develop differentiated spatial situations, yet all components unite into an organic ensemble with strong sculptural presence. The common areas – the “foyer courtyards”, the cafeteria, a concert hall/ auditorium with 750 seats and the sports hall – connect the individual school buildings.
All children meet in the foyer courtyards before dispersing in their individual school buildings. Here the sculptural strength of the polygonal skylights creates a captivating play of light, providing the pupils with valuable shade.
School buildings play a key role in conveying both building culture and sustainability. A return to traditional simplicity, while demonstrating innovative technological sophistication influences the design approach, it’s construction and building services. The implementation of ancient wisdom, such as natural cooling through a subterranean thermal maze, will ensure the building’s sustainable operation.
A school is more than a matrix of classrooms; it is the centre of the students’ living environment and shape their understanding of both the built and natural worlds as well as their sociocultural experience. The spatial compositions and visual connections within the school promote a sense of group identification and intercultural exchange in order to carry on the tradition and success of the German School.