Sustainable new building for the next generation

Thanks to structural sophistication, the Children’s and Youth Centre combines three different facilities at one location on Pankratiusstraße in Darmstadt, the ‘City of Science’.

Photo: Thilo Ross

Centrally located in Darmstadt’s Martinsviertel district, local firm Waechter + Waechter Architects have realised a new, low-rise, two-storey building, which houses a childcare centre, a youth centre and a student support centre over a total floor area of 2600 square metres.

Boasting a visually appealing, substantially glazed façade combined with brightly coloured exposed concrete and wood-coloured window profiles and wall panels, the building blends harmoniously into the surroundings, which include the Technical University and a heterogeneous housing development.

Green roof as a kindergarten courtyard

A special architectural feature is that the green roof is also a 520 square metre courtyard that forms the heart of the 80-child daycare centre housed on the first floor. It is surrounded by the group rooms and function rooms. Floor-to-ceiling glazing lets in plenty of light, creating an open and friendly atmosphere.

The ground floor includes four spaciously designed recreational areas interspersed with group and relaxation rooms for school children as well as a separately accessible refectory. At the centre of the international youth centre on the ground floor is a multi-purpose room featuring an open, bright entrance area with floor-to-ceiling glazing and an inviting ambience.

Concrete and wood are predominant in the interiors as well

The characteristic material design for the exterior was also adopted for the interior of the new building, which received an award for its sustainability in the Hessian state competition Vorbildliche Bauten 2020 (Exemplary Buildings 2020). Bright exposed concrete walls and floors are combined with window frames and other elements of light wood. White doors and furniture highlight the clear structure. Different coloured curtains provide varied accents. The natural wood Troldtekt acoustic panels installed on the ceiling complement the overall design perfectly and add to the feel-good atmosphere.