Heinrich Nordhoff High School

Learning landscape/cafeteria/classrooms, Conversion, 2011-14

The conversion and expansion of the cafeteria, as well as the two-story atrium that serves as the central lounge and study area for the senior class, was the result of findings from participation workshops. The atrium was zoned into desired areas: the “marketplace” with its raised platform is a gathering place, and class results are presented on the leaf-like partitions in the group work area. Pupils can work together at a large table, while in the “Quiet Study Zone,” they can work alone on large cushions or relax. The “Homework Zone” is on the bridge. Part of the furniture, a meandering wooden ribbon, marks the classroom area. In the cafeteria, trapezoidal tables with 200 seats are freely arranged around orange amphitheater-like seating.

User Participation
The requirements for different activities and spatial qualities were developed with a project family of pupils, teachers, parents, and City of Wolfsburg representatives. The collage “The Calm Giant’s Meadow” by the pupil Rebecca Schrader represented the shared notion of the group very well: “On this meadow, one should feel comfortable and able to exchange ideas and communicate. One should be able to relax there (between classes). Furthermore, it should be a lounging meadow…There Is a feeling of security given by the tall grass.” The desired spatial zones were determined in the negotiating game, and during the feedback rounds, the design ideas could be given a definite form with collages and models. The work on the cafeteria and classrooms was done in the same way.

Project Team

Susanne Hofmann, Martin Janekovic, Kirstie Smeaton (Project Architect), Susanne Vitt and Corina Angheloiu, Theresa Kaiser, Daniela Knappe, Noam Rosenthal


Andreas Kuelich (Structural Engineer)


Stadt Wolfsburg

Costs/Gross floor area

284.000 EUR gross/1.470 m²

Work stage

LPH 2–9, school design consultancy


Suhler Straße 1
38444 Wolfsburg