Erika Mann Elementary School II

Learning landscape, Conversion, 2006–08

In a second renovation of a different wing, the listed building was transformed for longer school days. Through new seating installations, the corridors were also developed for learning, playing, and as meeting places, and are complimented by two leisure rooms. The newly developed, non-standard seating modules offer children the chance to find an individual posture for learning, rest, or play. The foldable chairs with soft cushions offer the possibility of withdrawal for more introverted pursuits. Pupils‘ work can be presented in the Hall of Mirrors, which then impacts the spatial effect created by the multiple reflections. All requirements that resulted from monument protection, fire safety, and accident protection were taken into account in the construction measures.

User Participation
The children‘s collage models were explored through photo montages, in order to develop a scale-less concept model. For example, Die Baupiloten student Fee Kyriakopoulos developed a “wing model” for the collage “Simou in Search of the Golden Stones” (Mouna 9y, Sinan 9y). In the exchange with the students, the idea emerged of a “Space Zoom,” a protected capsule from which one can look out. In further feedback rounds, up to the test of a prototype “Swinging Wings” were developed, which were carefully placed in the “Snort Garden” based on the childrens‘ desires.

The “Snort of the Silver Dragon” was used to design the shape of the seating installations and leisure rooms on the first, second and third floors. With a selection of sensory concept models, collages, and diagrams, Die Baupiloten students discussed their first ideas regarding the seating and learning landscape and also asked the pupils how they might behave and what activities they would like to do in this new learning environment. In a later feedback workshop, they could create scenarios on a 1:20 scale using a large model of the hall and different modules, and discuss them together. The children chose five modules: day bed, cave, perch, landing, and a table with a foldable bench. The perch was the favorite for all age groups.

Project team

Dipl.-Ing.Susanne Hofmann


Maximilian Assfalg, Ania Busiakiewicz, Andrea Ceaser, Fee Kyriakopoulos, Ansgar Schmitter, Irmtraut Schulze, Thilo Reich, Wojciech Wojakowski and Urzula Ramus (Visiting Student)


Stattbau GmbH

Costs/Gross floor area

150.000 EUR gross/ 605 m²

Work stage

LPH 1–9, school design consultancy


Utrechter Straße 25
13347 Berlin

Photographer Jan Bitter