System solutions by heroal for historic school building in Dortmund

After a construction phase of two and a half years, the history-charged Fritz-Henßler-Berufskolleg, a vocational training institution in the city centre of Dortmund, has been extensively refurbished and enlarged by two additional buildings. The result is a complex of school buildings satisfying all demands on a modern and future-orientated learning environment. From an architectural perspective, an exciting dialogue between old and new unfolds both inside and outside. Different system solutions by heroal give distinction to the new outer appearance of this group of buildings, while at the same time providing core features, such as thermal insulation. Numerous national and international awards the parties involved received for this project give evidence of the successful renovation and conversion of this building.

Object details

Project: Fritz-Henßler Berufskolleg (vocational training college)

Building owner: City of Dortmund – Special Property GVVF

Planning / Architects: SSP Architekten

Fabricator: Tesche Metallbau GmbH

Completion: 2018

Starting signal for modern extension

The foundations of this listed building were laid down in the year 1904, and since then, it has already seen numerous refurbishments and conversions. Today, the vocational training college looks back on a building history of more than 100 years, characterised by continuous extensions that were added during different construction eras. Nevertheless, a considerable bottle neck of building renovation built up over the years. Therefore, it became obvious in the year 2010: the vocational training college needed comprehensive refurbishment. It became equally clear that the existing space was not sufficient in order to meet today’s needs. Therefore, right from the start, the extensive plans also included the construction of two new buildings which were to be integrated; considering aspects of both urban development and preservation of historic sites. The appearance of the imposing façade of the existing historic building served as a model for the architectural style of the façades of the new buildings. Also, the existing building was a guideline for the arrangement and dimensional ratio of the wall openings for the new window elements and their partitions.

Innovative system solutions and historic old buildings in an exciting dialogue

The architects involved were especially concerned about preserving the existing listed building, which was in danger of demolition, as an important corner stone of the city of Dortmund. Hence the challenge of this project was to combine old and new building parts to be both a functional and aesthetically appealing building complex. Accordingly, the demands on the building materials to be used were quite high. In close cooperation with the architect, the executing metalworking business, the company Tesche in Lüdenscheid, decided in favour of the window system heroal W 72, the curtain wall system heroal C 50 and the door system heroal D 72. These heroal system solutions also convinced the managing architect Mr Frank Köller: “The heroal products used fulfil our high demands on quality and design. Especially the slim profiles and the look of the opening sashes, which seem to be almost frameless, are very convincing.“ In addition, the heroal systems used exceed the special ratings required for the construction elements, such as thermal insulation and sound protection. Also, the face widths of the profiles appeal, because of their narrow design. The system producer, the metalworking company and the architects worked closely together in order to create special solutions meeting the individual demands on the project. In addition, heroal’s project service provided support and consultancy for all trades involved during all construction phases.

Formation of a future-oriented school building

The result is a building complex whose sophisticated architecture can be recognised at first glance: The existing historic building and the architectural design of the façades of the new buildings merge through the appealing transition achieved by the post-transom construction of the curtain wall system heroal C 50. The entrance area of the new building welcomes its visitors with its modern and open style; the door system heroal D 72 is ideally adapted to the high frequency of use of a school building. The filigree frames of the window system heroal W 72 discretely retreat into the background and grant the expansive window surfaces ample room to impress. It almost appears as if they were floating-on-air. Additionally, the windows allow lots of light into the building and that way make a valuable contribution to a healthy and modern learning environment.

Numerous awards for a sophisticated concept

From day one, the refurbishment of the Fritz-Henßler-Berufskolleg was subject to the idea of sustainability. During the entire construction phase, all parties involved always focused on an intelligent planning that used the land efficiently and preserved resources, in order to minimise both investment and follow-up costs. For example, the embodied energy of the existing building was used to reduce production energy. The heroal systems used are ideally suited for this concept. They exceed all demands on thermal insulation and are innately sustainable. In practice this means: heroal systems are made from recycled aluminium and with best thermal insulation values actively contribute to an optimised energy balance of the building project. The successful implementation of the integral planning has received numerous national and international awards, for example the German School Design Award NRW.

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