Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Day-care Center, Berlin-Buchholz

The task for the competition was to plan six kindergartens within a pre-planned master plan in the new suburb of Berlin-Buchholz. Repetitive standard prototypes were requested which could adapt to each specific site. The prototypes responded in form to the characteristic sites within the green belt, topography and site orientations. The award of two of the six kindergartens allowed variations to be developed in construction and materials.

After the competition phase the program for the second kindergarten changed to that of a youth center. The kindergarten served as the first precedent for the second project, which is located in close proximity. The first project was built in a more conventional concrete and masonry core construction. The spatial and construction system can be systematically modified in order to realize programmatic variation.

The Youth Center is a prototypical variation of its predecessor, the Day-care Center. The cellular nature of the rooms in the first project are transformed here into a series of larger group rooms at the ground level. The upper level is connected by a double-height atrium and houses sport, music, computer and ceramics rooms.

This prototype is a development of the first in that it is built of pre-manufactured timber-framed walls. The upper levels are spanned by room-high wall trusses, which allow large spans in the group rooms below. The building is organized into a series of parallel bands. A double-height lobby provides a link between the south facing group spaces and the north facing service cores, administration and music room. This rationale provides a repetitive, quickly buildable solution for a budget. 

The material of both buildings is similar: tongue and groove larch siding on the north facades and color-stained cement fiber panels (Eternit) and glass on the south. The roofs are either earth with grass plantings or a standing seam aluminum cladding on sloped surfaces.

Project Information

Architects — Barkow Leibinger, Berlin, Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Team Design and Construction — Martin Heberle, Lydia Heine



6 Class Rooms with Support Rooms, Kitchen, Administration



Berlin-Buchholz, Germany



1.053 sqm


Construction Time

1996 - 1997



2000  Deutscher Fassadenpreis,

Special Award

1998  Progressive Architecture,
Citation Award, USA

1998  BDA Preis Berlin, Acknowledgment


ERGERO Grundstückserschließungsgesellschaft mbH


Mechanical Engineer 

BLS Energieplan


Landscape Architect

Büro Kiefer, Berlin



© Werner Huthmacher

© Elizabeth Felicella