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Connect Four!

The New Konstanz Vocational School Center

Invitation-only design & build competition, 1st Prize

[EN] Neubau Berufsschulzentrum Konstanz

The ‘school of the future’ is more than just a place to learn; it embodies openness, communication, and preparation for an ever more complex and flexible working world.

Zeno Danner, Konstanz District Chief Executive, in the competition announcement


The south German city of Konstanz can look back on a proud tradition in commerce, in the trades, and as a place of training for technical and business professions. Petershausen, on the north side of town, is currently experiencing one of the district’s largest construction projects: here, two schools will grow together to form a new education center for 1,300 vocational school students and 160 teachers. In addition to classrooms and common spaces, plans include a cafeteria, a gymnasium, workshops, and facilities for the district media center and district archives. Our design distributes these complex user requirements among four interconnected structures that provide new latitudes for the school and the city.

Existing structures and construction phases 1 through 3

Our Campus, Our Place

We’ve planned a slightly staggered arrangement of the business school and trade school’s two main buildings to form a forecourt fronting a central entrance area. The workshop building and gymnasium will go behind them, forming a buffer to the adjacent residential and industrial zones. At the ensemble’s core will be a protected green schoolyard that will radiate out into the public space through gaps between the buildings as well as transparent walls. The new Vocational School Center and the comprehensive school across the street will form a high-quality educational campus that will self-confidently set the tone in this neighborhood.

Standard upper level floor plan

Cleverly Combined

The upper levels, featuring a gridlike façade with tall wooden elements, lend the school and unmistakable character. The materiality and depth of detail reflect the craftsmanship taught at the Konstanz Vocational School Center.

In designing the Vocational School Center’s exterior and interior, we felt it was important to have the independent functions of the two schools be recognizable while still speaking a common language. Robust materials such as wood and exposed concrete refer to the traditional craftsmanship taught here with help from modern technical equipment. Floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights make for a lightweight feel and let in daylight on all levels. Open atriums additionally enhance the quality of the spaces inside. And the spacious, partially glassed-in ground floor with its foyer, cafeteria, and library links the forecourt, interior, and schoolyard together.

Site plan


Type of commission

geladener Realisierungswettbewerb

Scope of commission



1. Preis


Grutschgasse 1-3 GmbH


Mödling, Niederösterreich


Ab 2019


In Bearbeitung

Net usable floor area

7.300 m²


Barbara Hohensinn (PL), Claude Probst, Katarína Martoňáková