Extension to Humboldt high school, Cologne

Clinker brick Island BA+FU
1.200 m2  Clinker brick-covered façade surface

42.1

Extension to Humboldt high school, Cologne

Clinker brick Island BA+FU
1.200 m2  Clinker brick-covered façade surface

42.1

Formed clinker brick gives a façade a special plasticity

According to a school development forecast, the Humboldt high school in the south of Cologne will become too small in the medium term, which means that it was  in need of an extension in a contemporary style. The design from the Berlin office Numrich Albrecht Klumpp met this task head on. Following the style of the existing building, the architects chose a clinker brick façade that was created using the Hagemeister “Island BA FU” sorting, the soft grey tones of which contrast with the existing building’s red brick. Special formed clinker bricks give the façade an individual expression. 

The existing group of buildings was designed by the architect Karl Band in the 1950s. The new, polygonal extension building connects to this and respects the monument in terms of its proportions and visual associations. The annex gives a clear view of the existing building’s listed brick punctuated façade from all sides. The heart of the school is the chamber music hall, which seats 160 people and is located on the ground floor behind filter masonry, and faces the public space.  

The materiality of the listed part prompted the architects’ choice of clinker brick for the new building as well. A grey Hagemeister brick of the type “Island BA FU” was used, characterised by soft nuances in different shades of grey and coal fire markings rich in character. The surface of the clinker brick type has irregular and sometimes wavy edges, and is reminiscent of the bricks used in the existing building. The alternating finish of the clinker bricks in which the back stretchers were also used on the visible side (traces from the production process are visible), lends the façade an additional rhythm. The brick was finished in a thin format with various masonry bonds, making the functions behind the façade visible to passers-by from the outside on the building envelope. The smooth façade surfaces have wild bond masonry. A type of strip with special formed clinker bricks in a streamlined bond was used for the windows. The polygonal building corners were also finished in the respective bond with formed clinker bricks. 

Filter masonry was used in the area or the stairwells. This provided atmospheric lighting and gives the building envelope something extra. The façade of the chamber music hall was finished in a double-set and open streamlined structure. Vertical threaded bars in the masonry provide additional reinforcement. Subdued and even light enters the hall here also. With artificial lighting inside, the meaning of this special part of the Humboldt high school becomes visible to the outside.  

Project data

Extension to Humboldt high school, Cologne 

Architecture

Numrich Albrecht Klumpp Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin

Project team

Arthur Numrich, Ulrike Vogel, Julian Wagner, Michael Filser

Construction management

BN Architekten GmbH, Bonn

Owner

Cologne municipal building management department 

Clinker brick

Island BA+FU

Format

DF (240 x 115 x 52 mm)

Photos

© Andreas Secci, Annika Feuss, Ulrike Lauber

Island BA+FU

Architectural context

More inspiration for creative façade ideas