Family Service Elementary School

Elementary school, Conversion, 2009

For a private elementary school, administrative offices were converted into learning, exercise, and rest areas tailored to the children‘s needs. The space, which one enters immediately after exiting the elevator, is designed as a green indoor garden with plants and pictures; which together with the adjacent exercise room forms a counterpart to the schoolyard. Core elements of the design are the modular partitions, which can be lived in, played with, and climbed through, and thus adapted to the desired use. Fresh colors have replaced the beige and gray of the original offices.

User Participation
The big challenge in the participation process for the new Family Service Elementary School was that the school was still in its inception. Therefore, a two-phase process was chosen: first, the design was developed using atmospheric workshops with children (4 —8y) interested in the school, and then reviewed in feedback workshops using collages and models of potential modules. The second phase was with the participation of the actual users. The pupils were offered the chance to shape their school in an active way which resulted in, for example, a large new magnetic world map, picture frames to decorate the indoor garden, magnetic hallway galleries, as well as versatile modular furniture.

Project team

Susanne Hofmann, Daniel Hülseweg, Marlen Kärcher (Project Architect), Jannes Wurps and Lisa Plücker, Laure Severac


Global Education pme Familienservice GmbH

Costs/Gross floor area

110.000 EUR gross/660 m²

Work stage

LPH 1-9, participation


Lützowstraße 106
10785 Berlin Mitte

Photographer Jan Bitter