The Waldorfschule Weilheim is a community initiative by parents and teachers aspiring to create a unique backdrop for teaching the Waldorf pedagogy. Kéré Architecture was tasked with designing a fitting environment both because of the studio’s ability to operate beyond standard German models and its distinct understanding of the challenges posed by manifold demands of an engaged community.
The site is located on the edge of Weilheim in Bavaria, Germany. It is to include both a primary and a secondary school, creating an inclusive environment in which children at different stages of their education can learn together and from each other. This intention is reflected in the layout of the building: rooms are arranged organically around two atriums resembling a public square surrounded by houses as found in most villages around the world. The larger of the two atriums can be transformed into a performance space.
Typical of Kéré Architecture’s projects, the building aims to tackle environmental challenges through elegant and effective strategies. In this case it was the supply of natural daylight, provided through the upper-floor classrooms being equipped with high north-facing windows, while those on the ground floor have light shafts. These openings also allow for natural ventilation, providing a healthy learning environment while lowering running costs. Working closely with local collaborators, plans were made to build with cross laminated timber, sourced from the region.
The project is divided into several building phases, to allow incremental growth according to the community’s needs and resources. The first phase will see the main school building being constructed, followed by a north and a south wing embracing the schoolyard. Future construction phases include a sports hall, a canteen, spaces for after-school activities and an auditorium that are to close the plot to the west, protecting the campus from the adjacent road.
STATUS: In Development
SITE: Weilheim, Germany
SIZE: 4250 m² (gross floor area of 1st building phase)
CLIENT: Freie Waldorfschule Weilheim
COLLABORATORS: Kling Tragwerksplanung, Winter Brandschutzplanung, Ingenieurbüro Edenhofer + Partner