Rotterdam-based studio BOARD designed a 120-meter-long elegant bridge building that would connect two existing schools and bring them spatially and functionally together. In addition to the bridge, the architects introduced a network of new paths and a central square, all enveloped in lightweight walls and lots of glass. The project won second place at an international competition that invited architects to design a school extension in Geesthacht, Germany.
The new column-free addition facilitates both spatial and functional merging of the two existing schools and attempts to create a flexible space that could be used for different activities. The addition has a neutral approach to the visual identity of the future “campus,” and remains simple so it can become part of both structures. The straightforward design and unimposing form give the design a welcoming character. The new structure will connect the second floor of the former secondary school to the first floor of the former upper secondary school and extend into the interiors through a new network of paths.
Besides the lightweight bridge structure, the architects inserted a central school square adjacent to the existing stairway located between the two schools. Called the Bertha-von-Suttner Square, this space is meant to house a kiosk, seating areas, new lighting and other content that supports socialization and recreation.