Heilbronn Freie Schule: clinker façades as a protective “town wall”

The architects designed a straight-lined, 120 x 70 m-large two-storey building, with the façades facing towards the Stuttgarter Strasse as well as on the northern and southern flanks clad with light-coloured clay clinkers – like a protective “town wall”. The west side – facing towards the school yard – on the other hand, has been designed completely in glass – a contrast intended to express transparency and openness.

The colour of the clinkers is beige, shaded by coal firing, with a natural finish and was deliberately chosen by the architects. Hans Jana: “The clay brick façades were solely intended to clearly mark the dividing line between the roaring traffic on Stuttgarter Strasse on the one side and the school on the other.” The clinker façade had a sort of walling-off function. For this reason, the façade is constructed on three sides – once around the school.

To lend the façade a natural appearance, a special beige-coloured facing mortar was used. In addition, the bricks were joined with beechwood chips to give the joint a coarser structure. This method is only very seldom applied in Germany today.

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