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conversion, extension and reconstructionSpecial needs school 'Thymianweg', Cologne


the project

The 'Thymianweg Förderschule' was established in the 1960s and offers learning in multiprofessional teams. The school, which has about 150 students, is pursuing a new pedagogical concept in cooperation with the Carl Richard Montag Foundation and the Education Office of the City of Cologne. It provides for the joint education of disabled and non-disabled students, which goes hand in hand with an increase of up to 250 students. Unlike before, the school should also be available for extracurricular activities. The task is to create space for a special educational school center with an attractive, modern learning and living offer at the location Thymianweg.

project data

City of Cologne
building type
school buildings
conversion, extension and reconstruction
education and research
scope of services
HOAI service phases 2-8
7.304 m²
6.351 m²

our work

The school - which consists of classrooms, an assembly hall, an administrative wing and a gym - will be extensively renovated, converted and expanded. In addition to further classrooms, built in an open, flexible construction, a cafeteria, a new auditorium, specialist classes for art and music and additional administrative rooms will be built.

Due to the limited plot size, the extensions can only be realized by partial demolition and new construction. Since mainly 'central functions' are to be newly built and an entrance area corresponding to the changed meaning is to be created, the previous administration rooms and assembly hall will be replaced by a new building.

The new auditorium can be divided into three function rooms that can be used separately using mobile partition walls. This creates additional, spatial resources and flexibility of use for the diverse range of activities within and outside of school.

The classrooms and the gym will be dismantled and redesigned. In addition, the gymnasium will be given a new facade in accordance with today's energetic standards. A construction made of damping glass elements takes on the function of a baffle. As a result, the hall is optimally flooded with daylight.

The entire technical building equipment is renewed. The school's accessibility is guaranteed with the construction and renovation measures. Parts of the school are used throughout the construction period, and construction work is carried out continuously while the school is running.

the serving counter
the courtyard, designed as a 'free form', ensures the lighting and ventilation of the building
 the glass walls in the redesigned existing buildings allow flexible use of the premises
in addition to the existing school building, the gym will also be modernized

Als Pilotprojekt für die Planung und Realisierung von neuen, pädagogischen Ansätzen im Zusammenspiel mit den erforderlichen, baulichen Konzepten, war der Anspruch an die bauliche Qualität und einen reibungslosen Bauprozess sehr hoch. Aus diesem Grund fand während des gesamten Projektzeitraumes eine intensive Kommunikation mit der Projektleitung des Auftraggebers, der Gebäudegemeinschaft der Stadt Köln, Vertretern der Nutzer, dem Schulamt der Stadt Köln und der Schule, dem Initiator des Projektes, der Montag Stiftung und dem Planungsteam statt.