Viersen Viersen, 2020
Viersen Viersen, 2020

Competition 4th prize


New building for the road traffic department and special needs school

The concept is based on the principles of circular construction at all project levels with a focus the circular management of all the employed resources, from the construction, use and conversion to the option of expanding the buildings or partially or completely disassembling them. It begins by reducing the impact on the building ground to a minimum and carrying out consistent on-site recycling, then using renewable or natural building materials as much as possible and implementing a linear, flexible, functional and renewable building technology concept.

Urban development

The building is being constructed along Viersener Strasse in one block. The school building can be accessed from the north on the west side. The road traffic department can also be accessed from the north on the east side. The entrances are visibly recessed and, together with the exterior design, allow visitors to find their way intuitively. This creates a compact, flexible building that separates the south part of the property from the road, creating a school playground which is close to nature.

Outdoor areas

The assertive presence of the free-standing building is underscored by the bold exterior design, the aim of which is to unify the different programmes under a single design and enhance its identity. One specific feature is the border, which has similar dimensions all around and is reserved for the fenced off school areas in the south and east. It will mainly be designated for circulation and stationary traffic in the north. All required parking spaces are consistently accounted for. The two building entrances in the north will each have an entrance zone with separate addresses. The school entrance will have a spacious forecourt that lets visitors know they have arrived at the school and also separates the two parking areas. Only school buses will be allowed to pass through the forecourt. Due to the high degree of reinforcement resulting from the task of establishing the required parking areas, a highly pervious concrete is proposed as the leading material, which can be supplemented with a substantial amount of recycled material.


Change of use/expansion The building is being constructed along Viersener Strasse in one block. The school and the road traffic department are located in the same building, which allows the usable areas to be modified at a later stage. As such, the entire building structure is intentionally designed to meet changing usage requirements. This allows the size of the road traffic department to be reduced so that the school can expand into these areas. Another possibility would be for the school to expand onto the first floor above the road traffic department and for the rooftop school garden to be moved to the second floor. These different scenarios have been intentionally left open in favour of a basic structure that offers a wide range of possibilities for adapting the existing spaces and expansion potential as needed.


Local and renewable: Wood, clay and on-site recycling The main building structure consists entirely of renewable building materials, secondary building parts (partition walls, etc.), largely from local, natural building materials. The building is formed mainly of two basic elements. The primary structure consists of a wooden construction with a standard range. This consists of beech supports and beams that are fanned out with non-bonded stacked boards. The classrooms and specialised classrooms, administration, and the school and the road traffic department offices are located in the outer areas. The internal structure of the building is fanned out with clay stones. The material is available locally (from a distance of around 8 km) and is supplemented with 30% non-binding components from the on-site excavation.


  • Client: Stadt Viersen
  • Typology: special needs school and road traffic department
  • City: Dülken, Kreis Viersen
  • Competition: 4.Preis
  • Architects: Partner und Partner Architekten
  • Team: Jörg Finkbeiner, Carolin Friedrich, Jeroen Meißner, Jonathan Schmidt, Jil Velden, Lisa Kolkowski, Dahee Choi, Maren Vetter
  • Technical building services: Ina Planungsgesellschafft
  • landscape planning: ARGE Treibbaus/Lavaland
  • Load-bearing structure: Wirth Ingenieure Freiburb

Cradle To Cradle-Kompass

  • Materials/Resources
  • Energy Supply
  • Water Management
  • Maintenance
  • Social Values
  • Diversity
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