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New building for Pre-primary and Primary School

New building for Pre-primary and Primary School

Design concept

The new building of the Pre-primary and Primary School extends the existing school building of the European School in Frankfurt.

The building was designed in a modular timber structure and yet it retains a high design level by arranging the spatial units around a spacious and open corridor in different directions. In addition to the classrooms the corridor functions a meeting place for the children and provides different views of the scenery.

The vertical access to the building is via three staircases which are emphasized by spectacular colours and thus provide orientation for the children. A lift is integrated at the central staircase.

All classrooms have a fully external glazed facade. As a result a maximum natural illumination is achieved and it allows for different views of the surroundings.

The building has 10 classrooms with adjoining rooms and integrated sanitary facilities for the pre-primary school and 7 classrooms and sanitary facilities for the primary school. Facilities for the teaching staff as well as work and multi-purpose rooms complete the space program of the school. On the ground floor there is a a gym with a 12m span and a kitchen with attached dining room.

The exterior walls are cladded with corrugated sheets of reflective aluminum. The windows and doors are wood-aluminum profiles. The windows on the south side have an external shading.


The Kaufmann Bausysteme has dealt with the design requirements and has developed wooden modules based on the specified floor plan. The modules have spans of up to 9m as self-supporting structures.

Each classroom is made up of 3 elements. The two edge elements have a longitudinal side wall of plywood board and a free-spanning beam. The middle element has longitudinally only two free-spanning beams. To realize this, wood beams out of 'Baubuche' (Laminaten beech plywood) were used the first time due to their high strength especially for slender structures with large spans. During transport the beams were supported.

Project Participants

Client:                           Stadtschulamt Frankfurt
Project management:     Hochbauamt Frankfurt
User:                             Europäische Schule Frankfurt
Structure Planning:         Bollinger + Grohmann GmbH
Mechanical Engineer:      Hochbauamt Frankfurt
Landscape:                    Dipl.-Ing. Michael Gattinger
General Contractor:        Kaufmann Bausysteme GmbH
Structure GC:                 Merz Kley Partner ZT GmbH
Foundation:                    Jean Bratengeier Bau GmbH

Photo rights

Photos after completion: Thomas Mayer

Photos during construction: Norman Radon

planning December 2013 - July 2014
construction August 2014 - April 2015
footprint 1,250 m²
height 9,95 m
floor area 3,750 m²