IGS HANNOVER-MUEHLENBERG , Germany, OBRA Architects, Beijing, Korea and New York
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IGS HANNOVER-MUEHLENBERG

IGS HANNOVER-MUEHLENBERG,HANNOVER, Germany
2010

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SURVEYING THE FUTURE
The school is organized around a square courtyard and a quarter circle courtyard. Water elements “indent” the building, which steps from the roof to the courtyards in a series of garden terraces that also bring light and air into the building. The two top floors of the children’s classrooms form a protected recess space where the children can survey the city’s horizon and its continuing development.

LEARNING MAISONETTES
Each classroom is organized around a double cube: an interior “learning landscape” and an exterior “hanging garden.” The Maisonette classroom arrangement offers 1) space efficiency, due to vertical circulation in the courtyard’s corners; 2) grid-organized classrooms that flexibly combine; 3) family-like cohesiveness due to the spaces’ closeness; and 4) sense of identity from each classroom’s unique position, so children identify with their Maisonettes as they advance through school.

TENTACULAR PROGRAMMING
A school’s multifarious nature prompts varied space and function arrangements. The building links to the surrounding city by tentacle-like elements that almost disengage the rest of the building to approach the city. Each element pursues the unique architectural possibilities of its program, but all elements are still linked by didactic purpose and design.

LIGHT AND ENERGY
This design pursues both energy efficiency and natural lighting by including a composite wall on the south and east elevations. Made of u-glass, translucent insulation, and fiberglass-reinforced concrete, the wall captures energy in the concrete’s thermal mass while wall perforations allow natural lighting. Through this wall, the quiet presence of a tree and a light circle in each learning landscape, LED panels displaying the building’s real-time energy savings, and the energy lab’s prominent position in the entry lobby, the school’s design implicitly teaches the importance of intelligent energy management to our future generations. __