A new build that raises the standards

St. Josef’s comprehensive school in Bad Honnef gets a new building that is large, bright and open.

Photo: Olaf Wiechers, architect

The four-storey comprehensive school with full-time option for up to 750 pupils is situated in park-like grounds in the centre of the spa town of Bad Honnef in North Rhine-Westphalia. The conversion of the old secondary school to the new school type marks an important step towards the future for the Archdiocese of Cologne as the maintaining body.

The Catholic school looks back on over 120 years of tradition, and now not only boasts cutting-edge technology and sets standards in terms of digitalisation, but also offers an impressive design and innovative learning concept which can be realised thanks to the new layout of rooms.

Building space for faith – literally

Hausmann Architekten GmbH of Aachen has completed a four-storey new build consisting of two L-shaped wings which, with its white plastered façade, perfectly blends in with the existing four-storey building and the two-storey sports hall.

The new build is accessed via a spacious foyer, at the centre of which is the Room of Silence, a sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing wooden structure, which reflects the Christian background of the school. The canteen with after-school area – the communicative centre of the building – is also located on the ground floor. As in the foyer, here the light floors and light grey concrete walls are combined with dark ceilings to create a modern, industrial feel.

In addition to large round lighting elements, lots of little round lights catch the eye, sparkling like stars on the dark ceiling.

An atrium, which spans all levels, adds extra light to the new build and connects the ground floor to the other storeys.

Learning in open clusters

On the upper floors, several large, bright classrooms are arranged in clusters around an open central area, facilitating constant communication among pupils and staff at all times. Lots of glass elements accentuate the open feel.

The door and window frames in light wood make for a balanced, feel-good atmosphere and offer a warm contrast to the light walls. The calm, welcoming atmosphere in the classrooms and multipurpose rooms is further accentuated by the acoustic ceiling panels in light beige.