Shingle-clad school by (Se)arch Architekten is around a cobbled courtyard

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Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

Shingle-clad school by (Se)arch Architekten is set around a cobbled courtyard

Stuttgart studio (Se)arch Architekten has completed a school and daycare centre in the German town of Tübingen, featuring cedar-shingled facades and a cobbled entrance courtyard.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The education centre is situated in a wooded area on the banks of the Neckar river, from which the town's castle and old town are visible across the water. It comprises a nursery and a primary school providing after-school care.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

(Se)arch Architekten referenced the scattered arrangement of existing buildings adjacent to the site when developing the pair of freestanding but interconnected structures, which are positioned on either side of the courtyard.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The single-storey nursery and two-storey primary school both feature square plans and pyramidal roofs with offset apexes that lend them a faceted gem-like quality.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

"The two pavilion-like solitaires create a high permeability in the outer space due to their open arrangement," said the architects. "The result is a school landscape through which the important paths and perspectives are preserved as far as possible."

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

By separating the facility into two distinct units, the architects aimed to produce structures with a scale that is appropriate for children.

The cedar shingles used to clad the entire exterior of the nursery building and the upper storey of the school add a texture that references the natural setting and will weather to a silvery hue to complement the metal and concrete used elsewhere.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

Between the two pavilions housing the school and daycare centre, a cobbled square surrounded by a concrete canopy helps guide children and visitors towards the entrances on either side.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The square canopy is supported by slender metal poles and provides sheltered circulation with integrated lighting around the edges of the outdoor space.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The entrance to the nursery leads to a multipurpose space containing coat hooks and storage, which is illuminated from above by the square skylight.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

An office is positioned to one side of the entrance space, while the three main rooms towards the rear of the building all look out onto a play area incorporated among the trees.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The primary school's entrance leads into an open ground floor containing a multifunctional space, a cafeteria and a library.

These areas are intended to offer places for meetings and interaction, with the more intimate classrooms located on the upper floor.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

At the heart of the building is a circulation space featuring a stepped concrete plinth connected to a set of concrete-lined stairs that ascends to a bright, open landing.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The skylight at the peak of this building's roof funnels natural light down through the central aperture to the levels below.

Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen

The architects also used cedar shingles to clad the exterior of a gabled house with its own gallery space in Stuttgart and a stepped residence in the city of Aalen, which features a concrete base level and two rooftop courtyards.

Photography is by Zooey Braun.

More images and plans

Ground floor plan
First floor plan
Section
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen
Intercultural Education Center at Tübingen