Schulzentrum Lehrte-Süd is a large school project where KHR Architecture, together with German partners, will design and project manage a comprehensive school for 1500 students in the town of Lehrte near Hannover in Northern Germany. The project includes the preservation of an existing building and the architecture will allow some of the school's facilities to be used for external activities and events after school hours. This is a PPP project with a 25-year term, which provides a good opportunity to prioritise long-lasting architectural and material solutions.
City of Lehrte
16,000 ㎡ plus outdoor areas
Energy consumption is covered by solar panels on the roof
Mosaik Architects, NSP Landscape Architecture, HOCHTIEF
Design and planning
Focus on internal and external flow
The new school building will be built on an elongated site and it has been crucial to create a concept that ensures both internal and external flow and provides a gathering place for the school's 1500 students. The main entrance therefore faces the new campus boulevard, where a unifying gate connects the existing building and the new sports halls on one side with the new main building on the other.
From the main entrance, you enter directly into the auditorium, which has both a stage and a large assembly staircase where children can meet during recess and where both internal and external events can be organised. The auditorium is double-height, so you can look down from the landings on the first floor, where the music, art and science classrooms are located. Next to the auditorium and facing the boulevard is the large canteen, which can also make use of a covered outdoor area. In this way, the community-orientated functions are gathered in the most public part of the building, while the basic classrooms are located further inside the elongated building.
To accommodate the flow of the 1500 children in and out in groups, there is also a direct access to the back of the school via the entrance from the cycle path to the north. Both the lower and upper secondary classes have their own entrance from the side of the school building, where they enter directly into the area where their own classrooms are located.
"Long-lasting architecture is one of our trademarks. This is reflected in the concept, flow and choice of materials and goes very well with a PPP assignment like this, where the project economy spans 25 years."
The school creates a new east-west connection in the city
A central goal of urban planning in Lehrte is to create a new east-west connection between Südstraße and the cycle path, the former railway embankment. This is realised in a masterplan where a new campus boulevard creates this east-west connection and offers orientation, identification and a pleasant place to stay for the school's students and the town's citizens in general.
The entrance area with the stage and the large assembly staircase is the heart of the school and also part of the school's semi-public areas, like the sports halls next door. Students from all school types meet here on a daily basis and for more formal or festive occasions.
From the unifying forum, there is a connection to the canteen, the music rooms on the first floor and a passageway to the classroom wing.
Facade design gives identity and shows the way
The facade design provides a unifying identity while the coloured elements between the window openings act as a wayfinding element. Yellow is chosen as the base colour for the main areas, orange for the high school and turquoise green for the secondary classes.