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Merz School 

Our task was to invent an addition for a villa in Stuttgart, to be used as a dormitory for children.

Sketch by Wolf dPrix

Project info

The addition is able to house 25 children from the age of 11 to 17. It contains a multipurpose room, utility rooms, and a three-room apartment. The children are to sleep two to a room. While working on the design, we came up with the idea of a house that was no longer a house, but a freely entered space — one which would provide a refuge on the one hand, and on the other, an architectural adventure: the dissolving and altering of a house into a confident, bold, open system.

In accordance with the educational philosophy of the Merz School, which encourages children to develop their creative potential and grow beyond themselves, steel branches are growing out of the floors of the villa. Prefabricated wooden huts holding two beds each are mounted in the branches. The apartment, hall, workshops, terrace, etc., located under the branches, are complexly integrated, entwined areas. They are connected by steps, ramps, and stairways. The static system complies with the concept of a differentiated disintegration of a house and thereby becomes a dynamic system.

We called the project The Merz Boarding School or How a Fledgling Learns to Fly.
The plan’s similarity to a bird is not accidental: it is intentional.

Project insights

Stuttgart, Germany
Dr. Volker Merz, Stuttgart, Germany
Start of planning

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