Germany, Rimbach 

Extension of the Martin-Luther-School Rimbach/Odenwald


Competition 2009, 1st Prize
Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Veit Lieneweg and Kristian Spencker
Project management
Bernd Gossmann, Christian Klimaschka
Co-operation with
Mettler Landschaftsarchitekten (Competition)
Design team
Tobias Mäscher, Iza Kaizer, Adel Motamedi, Sarah Gerg, Elisabeth Heiner, Nadja Meinicke, Antje Pfeiffer, Stephan Both
Implementation team
Carla Silva Ferreira, Elisabeth Heiner, Nicole Jahn, Brigitta Kortz
Construction supervision
Katja Poschmann, Uwe Otte, Peter Biermann, Tuba Fil, Dirk Backhaus
Client Eigenbetrieb Gebäudewirtschaft Kreis Bergstraße
10,000 m² (New building: 9,100m²; Conversion: 900m²)
Construction period



Marcus Bredt

As a school with a grammar-school type curriculum, with six main streams and a special emphasis on music, Martin Luther School in Rimbach is one of the most important educational institutions in the Odenwald region. Since the school was extended and the existing area remodeled in functional and spatial terms, the Martin Luther School now has 48 classrooms and 19 subject-specific classrooms for science, music and art for the 1,286 pupils expected in the upcoming school years.

The design provides a new focus for the Martin Luther School complex, which is organized around the church. The arrangement of the two buildings results in an enclosed forecourt, creating an imposing new main entrance while retaining a respectful distance from the listed church building.

The compact extension is principally located at the eastern end of the site, leaving the south-western end towards the meadowland around the River Weschnitz free of buildings. This leaves the retained area undeveloped so that it can be used as a recreation area. Each school function is organized around an atrium or inner courtyard. The smaller, two-story building serves as a link between new and existing buildings.

Next to the new main entrance is the atrium with its generous central access staircase and barrier-free lift, which has been designed as a meeting point and as a circulation area connecting all levels in both new and existing buildings.

Located on the first floor, in the center of the school, the school offices are directly accessed from the atrium and include the headmaster’s office and the staff rooms. The art and music rooms have been arranged on the garden side of the atrium, with exhibition spaces facing the atrium. The prominent position of these rooms gives a clear indication of the importance accorded to art and music at the school.

The larger, three-story building features an inner courtyard (schoolyard) which divides the building into two parts. The north-western wing accommodates the music rooms on the ground floor, while the refectory with stage and the independent all-day area with cafeteria and group rooms are located in the south-eastern wing. For events such as receptions and performances, the cafeteria can be used as an extended foyer and – together with the costume collection – as an extension to the backstage. At first-floor level - extending over two stories - is the gymnasium with a clear height of 6.00 m.

The larger, three-story building opens on to an inner courtyard which is directly connected to the meadowland bordering the River Weschnitz.
The central element of the landscaping design is the paved schoolyard, which links the open landscape with the yard areas of the extension. The recreation area of the inner courtyard features a multi-functional play landscape together with an informal kick-about pitch, school gardens and an outdoor classroom. The boundaries of the school site are marked with pathways, planted areas and various forms of paving.