Tucking buildings in the landscape preserves the green space for the school and the surrounding community. This was the initial concept behind our entry to a design competition for the expansion and redevelopment of the Rütli School Campus in Berlin, Germany. The competition asked for an urban design for the redevelopment of the campus as well as a proposal for a new sports hall. We sliced, lifted and folded the landscape, sliding our buildings underneath a green carpet. This maximized the usability of the site, allowing the students and members of the surrounding neighborhood to inhabit the roofs and hills made by the new buildings. The slope leading up the Gymnasium is terraced to provide spectator seating for the adjacent sports fields as well as planting beds for a community organic garden, planted and maintained by the school children. Sections of the roof are cut out and filled with channel glass to bring daylight into the sports hall below. The school building extension continues the folded landscape language with a vertical planted wall with punched windows. The wall folds over to become a green roof, and wraps down the southern side, offering sun shade as well as adding a living element to the enclosed courtyard.
The urban organization revolved around creating a central gathering space for the campus. An amphitheater tucks below one of the buildings and gives the school community a place to gather while making an active heart for the campus. We placed the additional required buildings along a pedestrianized street to give a somewhat urban feel while preserving open fields for sports and recreation activities. Once again the landscape flows up and over the buildings, increasing thermal performance and slowing storm water runoff. The green roofs will be planted with indigenous grasses and shrubs, providing a limited maintenance garden as well as food and habitats for local wildlife and migratory birds.
- Collaboration with Mathewson Architecture Berlin