Offering state-recognized education for students in Grades 1 to 12 in Darmstadt, Germany, this privately-owned school faced the intake of an additional 150 to 200 students. The school was rapidly outgrowing its classroom spaces and there was immediate need to build a one-storey extension on the roof of the existing building in two construction stages.

Project Essentials

  • LocationDarmstadt, Germany
  • ClientFreie Christliche Schule Darmstadt e.V.
  • ArchitectThomas Grüninger Architekten
  • Size14,000 ft² (1,285 m²)
  • Budget1,1 Mio. EUR netto, Kgr. 300 + 400

Located in a former printing house, a key consideration of the project was how to preserve design cohesion with its existing industrial surroundings, at the lowest cost possible, and a construction schedule that would not disturb ongoing classes.


To accommodate these needs, the design team suggested a light wood construction with a high degree of prefabrication. Fast + Epp was tasked with proving the existing building – a full basement and existing two-storey building of reinforced concrete – would accommodate the new loads.

Phase One included the construction of classrooms, meeting rooms and the necessary access rooms, as well as a 12m fire escape stair tower of latticework steel construction, which Fast + Epp used to wrap a free-standing reinforced concrete wall. A second construction phase will add more classrooms, bathroom facilities and a terrace extension to the existing roof.