Located in Berlin’s Neukölln district, Rütli Community School and its CR2 campus deliver a comprehensive educational programme for children and young people from 5 to 18 in a multi-layered social space that operates in partnership with parents and corporate sponsors. The brief here was to adapt the original school building to meet the needs of this new educational concept and design new school and social facilities to create a campus that would offer a range of educational, social, cultural, sporting and leisure services. The emphasis was on finding a highly inclusive approach that would provide a spatial counterpart to the community school concept, move Berlin’s neighbourhood management strategy forward and create a shared, central and open environment.
The dynamic, community-facing layout of the self-contained school campus is shaped by its existing and new buildings alike. Located at the heart of the campus is the central quad, its atmospheric spatial qualities and distribution function shaping the flow of users and visitors. School, nursery and neighbourhood centre entrances all face onto it, with stands of trees and projecting roofs giving each building a distinctive and easily recognisable appearance in keeping with its individual use.
Another new-build, the single-storey pavilion-style annexe containing the canteen owes its proportions to the facade of the fine, original school building. This octagonal structure is connected to the central projection on the existing facade via a covered walkway.
The Rütli Campus development project creates a community school with a roll of 1150 pupils spread in roughly equal parts between two establishments: a junior school, its four classes per year housed in a new building, and a two-tier secondary school comprising a lower school with four classes per year and an upper school with two classes per year, both located in the old school building. Classrooms and other facilities are organised to produce a lively, animated and positive space that makes for a creative and motivating learning environment. In line with the project’s overarching educational concept, the new school building is accompanied by a number of additional structures accommodating a Design and Technology block, a neighbourhood centre including teaching workshop and Youth Welfare Office advisory and support services. A future phase of building will see the addition of a careers advice service.
To keep the school open throughout the redevelopment, the works were programmed in successive phases during which certain buildings took on interim functions. The three main structures were built as follows: first the Design and Technology block, then the neighbourhood centre and lastly the new school building. The campus-style grounds and protected playground areas together with the octagonal, pavilion-style canteen were constructed in parallel, while additional outdoor spaces and a new vocational education building are planned for a future building phase.