Grammar school, bad Doberan (2nd Prize)

Style is knowing when to leave out unessentials.
(Anselm Feuerbach)


Invitation to tender in 
U. Fritzemeier
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The new building for the "Friderico Francisceum" grammar school/high school, a simple wrap-around, glass-walled structure, is sited to the east of the existing group of stand-alone buildings on Alexandrinenplatz.

On the one hand it forms the rear backdrop to these separate and architecturally heterogeneous buildings on the street frontage, which it "interlocks", as it were, in a discreetly transparent manner. On the other hand the structure on this site, which has been kept simple in terms of materials and form, serves to define the Prinzengarten park area in an understated manner, without recourse to pretentious formal gestures.

The need to maintain a balance between the new building and the existing group of solid masonry buildings, and to create an effect of transparency vis-à-vis the open space beyond, calls for a lightweight façade construction that appears open on all sides, neither overshadowing nor competing with the existing buildings or the open park area.

An important part of the concept was to design a subordinated building, keeping with the constraints imposed by the town and the dominant surrounding landscape.

The round, pavilion-like stand-alone structure forms an expressive transition to the Prinzengarten park. The ambivalence of the site, sandwiched between a group of listed buildings and the open park area, sets a difficult planning challenge, to which the architect has responded with a simple, restrained and notably “diaphanous” structure, whose footprint has been reduced to a minimum. This has made it possible to establish a pedestrian route south of the building, extending from Alexandrinenplatz across Rosenwinkel to the Minster, with the possibility of a cross-link to Rosengarten.

The aim of this concept is to integrate the Prinzengarten park into a superordinate network of pedestrian footpaths in accordance with the existing urban planning concept.