Primary School

Location: Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Team: Iryna Vakulyk, Sebastian Nitka

Bad Mergentheim is located in the northeast of Baden-Württemberg, centrally in the Taubertal at the confluence of the Tauber and Wachbach rivers, in the Heilbronn-Franconia region. The city offers a wide variety of educational opportunities and, as a medium-sized center, therefore has an important function in the field of education.

Building Concept
Campus Concept

With the new construction of the 3.5-class elementary school, the “Auenland” education campus will be more powerful and efficient. It will give the children of the adjacent existing residential areas and the future residential areas to the east and north of the school location the short ways to school, as well as the option to approach all educational qualifications according to their talents and abilities.

Ground floor plan
First floor plan
Second floor plan

The new 3,5-grade elementary school in a small town Bad Mergentheim including a possible future extension with a cafeteria and additional rooms for all-day care is to be situated between existing kindergarten and secondary school in a mainly living area. It should serve as an urban orientation point and identification point for the neighborhood. Due to the location of the planning site and the structure of the building, the connecting axis between the school buildings will become the central point of the school campus. The aim of the competition is to develop a primary school that uses the existing premises such sports halls and outdoor sports fields initially in synergy and meets the requirements of a future-oriented, modern educational establishment, where children from 1 to 4 grade have access to high-quality, light and spacious classrooms, as well as smaller group workrooms and break areas with possibilities to exercise.

Section A-A
Section B-B
North facade
East facade
South facade
West facade

The main entrance is on the northern side where the car park and the bus stop are located. Behind a simple but clearly perceptible two-storey portal, a spacious and representative foyer opens up, from where school facilities such as library, gym as well as teacher’s area can be reached. In the middle you find a grandeur, spacious staircase which leads to the classrooms in the first and the second floors. This staircase fulfills a function of a common break area and consists partially of a climbing wall, where pupils from all grades can play and develop their physical abilities. In addition, benches for sitting are also integrated into the staircase. Each floor (except for ground floor) has two smaller multifunctional areas, which are accordingly assigned to each grade. They can be used both for free time or learning in small groups. From there pupils have access to the loggias, which when needed can be used as emergency exits.

Energy concept
Ventilation concept

The new primary school is made of regional and low-CO2 building materials such as perforated bricks. The playground roofing is made of colored solar glass, which on the one hand touches the surroundings with pleasant colourful shades and on the other hand ensure the solar profits. The flexible floor plans offer the possibility of possible usage change to office units in the future. Durable and easily joinable materials, used economically, support the idea of sustainability. Although the school is equipped with a cooling system, it is possible to achieve pleasant room temperature without it. The doors and windows are provided with special slits for night ventilation. Massive building components are naturally cooled and the warm air will go out through the dormer windows, letting the cool air in.

Facade section

Trees’n’Peace (Part 1)

Location: Chungcheongnam-Province, South Korea
Educational institution: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

The aim of this project is to design a new multi-functional administrative city in South Korea. The main objective is to obtain outstanding and innovative urban design and planning concept to present a driverless city as a 21st century urban paradigm for a new future city. It should be able to face and offer solutions to such important problems as climate change, centralization and “education fever” – the largest social problem of Korean society. Naturally, a mixture of multi-functions in the field of new knowledge industries, education, R & D, IT services, and global exchanges is crucial to the success of the New City as well as to realize the innovative synergic effect between the public and private sectors.


It is assumed that automated vehicles and car sharing will drastically reduce the number of private cars and traffic jams accordingly. The outdated and harmful idea of possession a car will not be promoted, that’s why I designed this city to be free from on-surface long-term parking lots. Instead, there will be multi-storey garages withing 5 minutes walking distance from every corner of the city. They will offer parking spots for automated shared vehicles while they are not in use, as well as for many visitors of this new spectacular city. For the citizens who still have private cars, underground parkings in their houses and at work should be sufficient.
Even the most remote neighborhood is well-connected to the city centre due to partially automated public transportation system. The new city is designed to be built mainly on the flattened land on the both sides of the river, leaving the three mountain peaks almost untouched. They will be used as hiking spots, promoting healthy way of living and connection to nature.
There are three bridges across the river which connect the both sides of the city. The middle bridge is a part of car-free city centre and the other two are large multifunctional platforms where public occasions such as concerts, exhibitions etc. take place.

Land use/Circulation
Density/Open space
Section: Primary road
Section: Secondary road

Overcoming “education fever” citizens and world visitors will rejoice and respect diverse lifestyles, with an affection of such human values as democracy, spontaneity, autonomy, freedom, creativity, imaginativeness, nomadic spirits and meaningful human contacts. Not only educational institutes and research institutes of various levels, but also art schools and conservatories will be accommodated, so that everyone can feel needed and included and find something special to him/herself.
Non-polluting industries equipped with innovative technology in the New City will provide source of new employment.

The city of short distances consists of many various self-sufficient neighborhoods, each of them with their own administrative communities, educational, commercial and high-quality green recreational areas.

Mostly car-free city centre will accommodate government ministries and other government agencies as well as many other state-run organizations. Convention center, international organizations, and cultural facilities (exhibition halls, performance centers, art galleries, etc.) will complement the main administrative function of the city. Multifunctional open spaces, green alleys and high amount of green facades are important characteristics of high-density city centre. On this 3D model you can see so called “urban jungle” – new kind of a mixed use block which consists of a common ground floor, used for commercial purposes, and a few “towers”, some of which are residential while the others contain bureaus. Members of each block decide themselves how they want to use the public roof of the ground floor.

Neighborhoods in European style, inspired by the structure of wonderful city Barcelona, are close to downtown areas with a high plot ratio. Blocks with three to six storey houses have common green yards in the middle and ground floor is used for commercial purposes, attracting visitors from adjacent neighborhoods and tourists from afar.

Slightly remote areas with a low plot ratio will be perfect for families, who would like to take a rest from the city hustle. This neighborhood is similar to the previous one, except here every household has a possibility to have their private gardens inside the block.

Terraced houses with a low plot ratio are located around the mountain except its northern side. Small private gardens and wilderness of the mountain is something you rarely find in the cities nowadays.

Remote and peaceful area with a very low plot ratio looks rather like a village. One to three storey detached houses with spacious gardens will probably attract elderly citizens. Adjacent agricultural fields will be a main source of food for the whole city.


Oceanographic Institute

Location: Triest, Italy
Educational Institution: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

The Oceanographic Institute Triest is a marine science institute and forms together with the Acquario Marino della Città di Trieste a lighthouse for education and research. An institute building is to be created on the special location on the pier which is a prominent place in the city that connects the old town, port and industrial area.

In addition to observation of the Mediterranean Sea, the research of overarching relationships and changes in the world’s oceans is taking place here. With its heterogeneous program it offers besides the specific research rooms and laboratories also areas for open discourse and education. In addition to the institutional uses, there is a plausible public part with a café and exhibition space. Moreover, educational, commercial and public uses are not clearly separated in the building, which means the visitors can take a look at some of the institute facilities in order to become inspired by science. In addition to the public orientation, the purpose of the house is to become a meeting place in which culture and research are lived and where the pressing problems such as climate change, sea level rise and species extinction can get attention of the public.

Urban context
Floor plans

From the foyer with an information stand you can enter the exhibition area. The cafe is located on the northwest side, where you can enjoy a wonderful view. Cavitation channel is integrated into the exhibition.

There are two access cores between which an atrium spans. It has a different, special character on each floor. The cavitation channel can be seen from the 1st floor. There is also a reading room with a small library, a study room where you can see the laboratories and where two more water basins are located. The 3rd floor is completely private with its laboratories, workshops and a conference room in the middle. A table is organized around an opening in the ceiling.

South-East facade
North-East facade
North-West facade
South-West facade

Section A-A
Section B-B

Oceanographic institute and the neighboring Acquario Marino della Città di Trieste will become a striking ensemble at the port of Triest. At the end of the pier there is a movable filter that cleans the harbor water from garbage and industrial oil stains before it flows into the open sea.

Facade section

Moreover, the institute’s adjustable shading slats are made of recycled plastic waste, which has been removed from the sea. Solar panels are attached to the roof and they can almost entirely cover the electricity usage of the institute. This way, I wanted this building to become a manifestation of how architecture and planning can help in solving the ecological problems, which Triest is facing.

Lamella manufacturing