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Vocational school Harburg

NEW BUILDING Vocational school Harburg

It doesn't get any greener

Someone will say that Hamburg-Harburg is not green. Besides the museum harbour with its old ships and varied nature reserves, the Göhlbachtal is pure nature. Only a few minutes away from a busy main road, the site of the Harburg vocational school is sheltered amidst the existing vegetation. The school ensemble originally consisted of only five building structures, to which three more were added in the course of planning during ongoing operations: A multi-purpose break hall with a classroom building, a day-care centre and a sports hall.

New building of multi-purpose hall, class house and doubles sports hall
Refurbishment of the upper school building, specialist classroom building, administration and sports hall
Ed.Züblin AG | Otto Wulff
1-5 HOAI
7.821 qm GFA
Göhlbachtal 38 in Harburg
Martin Lukas Kim | Franziska Glück | Markus Tollhopf
Heat generation with ground source heat pumps I Controlled ventilation with heat recovery I ENEV 2009 - 30% I Member of Yearbook of architecture in Hamburg 2015/16

So how do you (continue to) build when the existing building dictates the architectural language? Loud and self-sufficient or quiet and adapted? We decided on a middle course that combines both.

If the school management had had three wishes, they would probably have been these: An inviting entrance area with a clear main entrance, the design connection of the individual buildings with each other and the adaptation to modern, pedagogical demands. These wishes were all fulfilled. The main entrance is slightly set back in the new main building of the ensemble and welcomes visitors with a multi-purpose hall for breaks. Whether lunch break, children's theatre, concerts or puppet shows: flexible partition walls, an integrated stage and a surrounding gallery on the upper floor allow the area to be enlarged or reduced as desired depending on the type of use.

Not quite. The new day-care centre kills two pedagogical birds with one stone: a new childcare facility was created for the neighbourhood and the future social pedagogues can gain practical experience on site. The existing sports hall was supplemented by a new sports hall, which forms the centre of the newly created sports park in the east of the site. Glare-free window elements in the upper area of the hall ensure optimal, natural lighting of the interior.

The new parts of the building are mainly faced with dark brown brick slips and only partially with sandstone-coloured brick slips in the plinth areas. Why? To create a connection to the existing buildings, whose façade was so polluted that it had to be largely demolished, but was restored in the same sandstone-coloured colour scheme. In addition, energy-efficient sun protection was installed and the existing windows were replaced with new ones. And speaking of energy: the compact form of the new buildings with a low surface-to-volume ratio are designed to be sustainable and energy-efficient: Heat is generated by means of geothermal heat pumps and further energy is saved during operation by means of controlled ventilation with heat recovery.

Stimmen aus dem Team

We have already proven with other projects that we can build sports halls and educational buildings. In Harburg, the greatest challenge was to carefully develop an established school ensemble and to raise it to the next level in terms of educational usability.


In the construction process, we repeatedly encountered challenges that we had to solve flexibly: the courtyard façade contaminated with asbestos cement was just one of them.