Playing with different materials

Integrated school in Mahlsdorf, Germany by NKBAK

A school should have both a good learning environment and a certain amount of playfulness, in order to keep the students happy – creating well-being is important. This German middle school is a prime example of what that might look like. Externally, the students see a discreet building with a sheet-metal façade, but the large windows perhaps give a hint as to what lies beyond the entrance. CLT is the dominant material here, complemented by both birch cladding and OSB panels. The three-storey staircase has exposed CLT and leads to light, wide corridors that create airy spaces and less crowding during breaks. Leading off the corridors are small common rooms where the students can work independently or simply socialise, all painted in cheerful, bold colours, but thinly enough that the wood’s knots still show through.

The school’s design is based on a modular system, with each CLT module measuring 2.86 metres. The modules were prefabricated up to 90% and then assembled on site, ensuring a very fast construction process.


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