Modern new primary school building in a historical setting

The Grundschule am Jungfernsee primary school in Potsdam is compact with a clear structure and rounded design set in the heritage-protected surroundings of the Red Barracks.

Photo: Manfred Vogel, Berlin

Front-facing lessons in cramped, dark classrooms are a thing of the past – modern school buildings feature flexible spaces, open learning environments and attractive, uplifting designs.

This describes the new, barrier-free building of the Grundschule am Jungfernsee and sports hall in Potsdam, the state capital of Brandenburg. The two-storey, low-rise building is in the immediate vicinity of the historical site of the late 19th-century Red Barracks, and its clinker brick façade takes its inspiration from these monuments. On the ground floor, the grey aluminium elements and grey window frames elegantly stand out against the waterstruck clinker brick façade with its pleasingly irregular surface texture.

A compact structure with easy orientation

The bright foyer has zenith lighting and a wide staircase with integrated seating, resulting in an open and uncluttered feel that enables easy orientation to the other parts of the building. Off the foyer is the multifunctional canteen, which in turn leads to the inner courtyards which are designed as green classrooms.
On the top floor of the building, which is of a precast concrete skeleton construction, there are three ‘clusters’, each consisting of several rooms grouped around an accessible atrium with an adjoining resources room. The top floor also accommodates the staffroom, a library with media space as well as a lounge and quiet areas for pupils. 

Acoustic panels are integral to the design

A combination of grey and white concrete walls, wood, glass and aluminium elements, mastic asphalt and light linoleum floors as well as colourful cloakrooms and built-in cupboards result in a calm, uncluttered and structured interior. The acoustic panels installed on the ceilings are the perfect visual match; they serve an important function in dissipating the inevitable boisterousness while blending optimally into the overall design.

Excellent architecture

The Grundschule Am Jungfernsee primary school, designed by SEHW Architektur GmbH, was awarded a ‘Special Mention’ by the GERMAN DESIGN AWARD 2022 in the ‘Excellent Architecture’ category and was also recognised by the BDA Preis Brandenburg 2020.