The heart of this new 147,000 sq. ft. school is a large, open atrium that serves as an assembly hall, an interior meeting point, and a visual connection between the school?s various departments and functions. Through this central hub, students can easily ?and intuitively find their way from the classrooms on the upper levels down to the music area, the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and the recreation rooms that sit on the ground level. The hallways that lead from the classrooms and workshops gradually open up and broaden to become ?extensions of the classrooms? themselves with individual and group working spaces. These ?learning landscapes? provide the students, teachers and parents with informal meeting points for gathering, planning extracurricular activities, and discussion.
The classrooms are set up for flexible layouts informed by the needs of the students rather than by lecture-based teaching. Different working methods, both collaborative group work and individual desk work, are both fulfilled by decentralized ?learning stations? where alternative, interactive educational situations can develop.
The school accommodates 800 students with four classes per grade level and includes a cafeteria, a library, assisted-study areas, and breakout rooms for play and relaxation. The two-field gymnasium is also available to the community.
To optimize natural daylight, the north-facing classrooms' use light-directing systems that bring daylight in from the southern corridors to the north-facing classrooms. On most days throughout the school year, the energy demand for artificial lighting can be reduced. The presence of natural daylight throughout the interiors greatly impacts student and teacher comfort, attentiveness, and well-being. The building uses radiant heat and LED lighting throughout.
The new Ergolding Secondary School is a simple, technically optimized structure that establishes ?a warm, inviting atmosphere for learning, one that reacts to and reinforces the qualities of the School?s pedagogical vision.