Bunsen School, Germany
A milestone for school modernisation in Heidelberg, Germany: a new four-storey annex building has been built for the secondary school “Bunsen-Gymnasium”, offering over 2,000 m2 of modern classroom space with state-of-the-art equipment.
Gone are the days of long and dark corridors, fluorescent lighting, and tiny rooms. Modern school architecture is functionally attuned to the needs of learners, with spaces designed to have a positive effect on the educational environment. “Schools are supposed to be places that stimulate,” says Volker Nürk, Principal of Bunsen-Gymnasium. Over the past two years, a four-storey expansion wing has been built onto the school, which features more than 2,000 m2 of high-tech lab space for biology, chemistry, and physics classes. “With construction of the annex building, we’ve built a bridge between new and old, via gallery-like passages that create completely new spatial relationships. The materials used – concrete, wood, and glass – characterise the space dedicated to the natural sciences. Overall, the new wing produces an expansive and bright feel within the school,” says Volker Nürk enthusiastically. “The rest of the school building has also benefitted from the project, through extensive remodelling of the older areas. Many of the existing classrooms have gotten a facelift, and we have installed new fire doors – which also make excellent acoustic barriers.”
The new science wing was built according to passive house standards as an add-on to the existing school building. The labs are west-facing; the floors have a high-quality screed of black CemFlow grade CT C30 F5 from HeidelbergCement. The grade 3 and 4 exposed concrete walls and pillars were poured on site. From the side facing Heidelberg’s Berliner Straße, the new wing and its elegant exterior serve to upgrade the visual character of the school. The large windows facing the schoolyard allow light to flood into the classrooms, which are ideally designed for scientific experimentation. Biology labs are located on the ground floor, while the upper two storeys house the physics and chemistry labs, as well as science and technology classrooms. Each chemistry lab workstation features its own computer and monitor, allowing students to record and analyse results. All of the computers used for science also incorporate a standardised measurement recording system and hardware. With the extra space, the school now also has the flexibility to fix up the older classrooms and offer room for full-day schooling.