The Project. The Evangelical Church of Westphalia established the EGG (Gelsenkirchen Protestant Comprehensive) at the heart of the Ruhr district in the city of Gelsenkirchen. Formerly dominated by a large coal mine, the local neighbourhood of Bismarck is now a priority area for urban renewal. Since it first opened in August 1998, the school has been growing at a rate of 150 students a year with each new intake. It will eventually house a full range of classes up to sixth-form level..

The school's concept combines academic, vocational and social leraning with extra-curricular activities. It is designed to be welcoming and homely, a pleasant place to meet and converse. Teachers and students help shape their own living and working environment through direct participation in the layout, design and construction of the building.  

This integrated approach touches all aspects of the curricula and teaching methods, as well as affecting the range of school subjects and leisure activities on offer.

As a mutlicultural and multi-denominational school, it is based upon the notion of the school as a "house of learning". Environmental education plays a core role. As a community school, its school hall, workshops, refectory and classrooms are all available to neighbourhood groups.

The buildings' central spine embodies the idea of the "village street as a street of learning". It leads out into the local park, physically linking the school to the neighbourhood.

The Architecture. The EGG is not isolated on some remote greenfields campus, but is integrated into a new residential area of over 100 homes, including wooden self-build houses and ecological "solar homes". The overall town planning design, by Prof. Peter Hübner of Neckartenzlingen, is the winner of a public competition.

The school's novel wooden construction and environmental features follow the close participation of students, teachers and parents right from the design stage. They even assist in some of the building work and fitting out. This DIY approach fosters a strong identfication with the school and ensures that the students take pride in their own "working environment". It also provides practical project work to be integrated directly in the teaching timetable. Furthermore, it encourages cooperation between the school and local employment initiatives.

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EGG - Gelsenkirchen Protestant Comprehensive School

Based on an original design by tjb 1999 for Bismarck Online a project of bit´s e.V.