Schulerweiterungsbau in Holzmodulbau, Köln

Delicate school extension

Special needs school in Dünnwald, Cologne

The city of Cologne, like many other major German cities, suffers from a shortage of school facilities. Once again, the panacea is prefabrication and modular construction. In cooperation with S&H Modulbau, Sehw Architektur has developed room modules for the city of Cologne that are now being put to use on specific sites. The result will be compact buildings with calm and clean geometries, with restrained façades and yet distinct emphasis on the entrance areas.

Schulerweiterungsbau in Holzmodulbau, Köln
Schulerweiterungsbau in Holzmodulbau, Köln

The extension to the school in Cologne Dünnwald is special in many respects. Due to the location of the existing school and the surrounding buildings, the timber modules had to be lifted into their final position over the existing listed buildings using a crane. This meant a high degree of logistical planning. You wouldn’t know it from looking at the building. On the contrary, the new building fits into its surroundings like a missing piece of the puzzle. The red brick façade harmonizes with the brick façades of the existing listed buildings.

Schulerweiterungsbau in Holzmodulbau, Köln
Schulerweiterungsbau in Holzmodulbau, Köln
Schulerweiterungsbau in Holzmodulbau, Köln

The glazed entrance area enables communication from inside and outside, it creates orientation and places of encounter and community. Inside the school, there is a wide range of meeting and informal learning zones. The classrooms are kept discreetly neutral and bright. This results in maximum utilization of daylight, but also a quiet working and learning atmosphere that serves as a canvas for creative development. Connected to the classrooms are differentiation rooms, which can be viewed from the classroom through a large window. These can be used as required, for example as retreats with sofa corners or therapy animals. The building welcomes its users and visitors with an open two-storey school hall, which also functions as a representative forum for school events. The spacious staircase consisting of walkways and seating steps is both a vertical access route and an educational space, creating a central location in the building.

In order to avoid long monotonous corridors, these are widened by recesses in the area of the differentiation rooms and provided with daylight as well as seating niches for the students. This creates pleasant communication areas and places for informal learning in front of the classrooms. This school extension is a third pedagogue in line with modern scientific findings.

  • Project type

    New construction

  • Purpose


  • GFA

    924 m²

  • Project status


  • Period

    2021 – 2022

  • Procurement

    Public tendering process

  • Awards

    Contract awarded

  • Service phases

    1 – 4 (HOAI)

  • Project team

    Eva Poggenklaß
    Jennifer Reufels
    Loana Sahihi
    Daniel Spievak