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© Werner Huthmacher
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© Werner Huthmacher
As early as 1995, a parents' initiative in Nuremberg founded the so-called Muschelkinderschule for children with early childhood autism. The project, which was unique in Germany at the time, set itself the task of supporting autistic children - "hidden pearls under an apparently hard shell" - in such a way that they can participate in social and cultural life. Today, the small school with three classes in elementary and middle school and one vocational school class is affiliated with the Comenius-Schule support center of the Rummelsberger Diakonie e.V.. In 2016, the sponsor announced a competition for a new school building on the site of a newly developing urban quarter in the south of Nuremberg, which we won together with Huber Staudt Architekten (Berlin). In addition, we were commissioned by WBG Kommunal GmbH with the planning of a municipal nursery on the immediately adjacent site.
Mainly social facilities are planned for the new quarter between Tiroler Straße and Ingolstädter Straße. To the north, it is terminated by the listed building of the Z-Bau cultural center, which forms an important reference point for the new buildings and their orthogonal development system. On the western edge, an already existing daycare center of the Rummelsberger Diakonie borders the site. The two new buildings are grouped around a square that will serve as a forum for the neighborhood in the future. There are currently plans to erect two more individual buildings here. The two slightly offset structures were built using a monolithic construction method with masonry made of porous perforated bricks. Brightly plastered facades open onto the square with entrance areas. The spatial center of the daycare building, which has a gross floor area of 1,289 square meters and can accommodate 110 children, is a narrow, two-story hall with skylights, plus outdoor play areas. The school building with 1,929 square meters of gross floor area, on the other hand, is oriented inward. It encloses a landscaped courtyard, which is glazed all around and has wood-clad facades. Seven to eight students between the ages of 6 and 21 are taught in each class. The special educational focus is on the special perceptual processing of the children. The architecture responds to this with clear spaces and retreats.
The outdoor facilities of the school for shell children consist of the protected courtyard and the enclosed garden that surrounds the school building to the north, west and on the south side. The inner courtyard, which is about 140sqm in size and not underbuilt, is characterized by a covered terrace and a lawn area. Within the lawn area is a wooden deck for sitting and lounging. An umbrella-shaped cinnamon maple (Acer griseum) integrated into the wooden deck adds a picturesque touch to the garden. The garden of the Shell Children's School is divided into a flat area surrounding the building to the north, west and south and an existing slope to the west with an extensive hillside meadow. Another special feature is the height difference to the site of the neighboring daycare center, which averages about 85 centimeters. An angled retaining wall with seating blocks in front intercepts this height difference and marks the boundary to the daycare center on the one hand and the transition to the sloping meadow on the other. The slope meadow was extensively landscaped and planted with apple trees. In the north, the children have access to a slide on the slope, which is reached by block steps laid into the slope. In front of the existing wall of the neighboring property is a small seating area, from which one can easily overlook what is happening in the lower-lying school garden. The level school garden is divided into three parts: In the western part, in front of the gymnasium, there is the " active band" with a terrace, two swings (nest and single swing) and a ground trampoline. In the narrow strip to the north, a planting area with perennials and sweet fruit bushes has been planted. A free-growing hedge of flowering shrubs and three amber trees (Liquidamber styraciflua 'Worplesdon') frame and protect this area in transition to the fallow land to the north, which will remain undesigned for the foreseeable future. The accumulating slope and layer water is collected in a lawn trough at the foot of the slope and directed into a trough trench.
The forum square is designed as a multifunctional usable, car-free open space. A frame of dark cast stone slabs is provided as a movement area for the fire department and driving services. The green center of the forum consists of a central infiltration area lowered by about 30 centimeters, two planting areas and two paved areas with benches. Four flowering ash trees (Fraxinus ornus) provide shade and characterize the future forum. The outdoor facilities of the daycare center, which have been intensively coordinated with the WBGK, the Youth Welfare Office and the Nuremberg Advisory Council for the Disabled, are divided into three areas with various offerings for children in the age group up to 6 years and 6-10 years. The planned playground equipment encourages movement and trains physical dexterity and a sense of balance. A paved circular path made of simple concrete paving provides access to all areas and can be used for vehicles. Along the west side, a climbing course for 6-10 year old children is provided in addition to a nest swing. Adjacent to this, to accommodate the playground equipment, vehicles and garden tools, is a 40-square-meter tool shed clad with wooden slats, the northern end of which is used as a bouldering wall. A slope slide integrates the topography of the southern slope into the children's play world. Wood chippings are predominantly used as fall protection material. In front of the covered terrace is a sand play area for the age group of children up to 6 years. This is equipped with balancing woods, a playhouse and a shady sun awning. The south and east lawns are available for free play. A robust planting of non-toxic, free-growing shrubs (including Cornus, Forsythia, Spiraea, Philadelphus, and Symphoricarpos) frames the garden. Three Himalayan birches (Betula utils 'Dorenboos' ) mark the western side of the property, a large-crowned ash tree (Fraxinus angustifolia 'Raywood') provides shade in the center of the garden, and a group of small-crowned ornamental cherries Prunus serrulata 'Pink Perfection') accents the eastern section of the garden.
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LA.BAR Landscape Architects bdla
Rüdiger Amend, Kristian Ritzmann, Karen Veit
2016 - 2021
ca. 5.920 m2
Rummelsberger Diakonie (Muschelkinderschule), WBG Kommunal (Kita)
Ingolstädter Straße 50
Prices & Awards
DA! Architektur in Berlin 2022, Architektenkammer Berlin