Martin Elsaesser - Germany
Pestalozzi School Building
Vatterstrasse 1, Frankfurt
1926 - 1928

Designed by Martin Elsaesser the Pestalozzi Schoolhouse is located a little aside compared to the so-called Riederwald settlement and is adjacent to a small garden compound. Originally, the building was named after the social democratic politician Konrad Haenisch. The clinker-clad school building is representatively designed with a variety of details in an expressionist style. While the building with the cubic corner volumes and the stone pedestals looks like a fortress from the outside, it features gently rounded edges on the courtyard side. A variety of window sizes and clinker bonds adorn the facades of this huge ensemble. Apart from the classrooms twelve teachers apartments, a kindergarten and other public rooms are housed in the building. Originally the building also served as a community center of the settlement Riederwald. Similar to the well known Hallgarten School, located at the Bornheimer Hang and designed by Ernst May, the building is oriented according to the planned settlement Rotenbusch. The school complex with its three wings should have become the center of this settlement, but ultimately it remained the only realized building of this planning. Pestalozzi School and Hallgarten School, both intended for not executed large settlements, exemplify the different approaches of the two main architects of the New Frankfurt. While Ernst May preferred the pavilion school for small classes, Martin Elsaesser considered the mass school as appropriate. Despite the conventional layout, the departure from pre-modern school buildings is clearly recognizable. As known from other reform schools, there are to be found bright, well-lit and ventilated rooms, terraces and open spaces for sports and outdoor teaching, school gardens and free seating.