Ernst May - Germany
Charles-Hallgarten School
Am Bornheimer Hang 10
, Frankfurt
1929 - 1930

The Charles Hallgarten School makes part of the settlement Bornheimer Hang, however, it is located a bit off. This somewhat strange situation is due to a not executed project for a large settlement. Originally the school building should have been connected with the unexecuted settlement Rotenbusch by a staircase. Initially the building was named after Friedrich Ebert, and was also known as the Reform School Röderbergweg. The school building, designed by Ernst May, corresponds to his preferred type of school, which was based on new educational principles. Above all, it was important for Ernst May that the school should not become a barrack-like representative building surrounded by traffic noise. Students should get a school in the countryside with plenty of light, fresh air and easy access to nature. Among other things the furniture should no longer be fixed as it was common at this time, but loosely grouped and adapted to specific requirements. The most important feature of this school is the flowing transition between interior and exterior spaces. The gardens are accessible directly from the classrooms, and separate the individual pavilions from each other. The pavilions are strung along long corridors. The gardens should serve in particular for the teaching of natural history and health education and thereby give the children the opportunity to respect nature. The school consists of a main building, which is almost exactly aligned in north-south direction and is oriented to the east. The main wing is located to the north of the central staircase, has three floors and features many large terraces. On the raised ground floor there are to be found the school library and four classrooms, from which can be reached the landscaped schoolyard over a continuous balcony and four staircases. Most of the rooms on the upper floors have access to terraces. South of the staircase is the auditorium and then the gym, both of which are lit by rows of windows in height of the upper floor and can be opende entirely to the outside by a front of folding doors. The building was extensively equipped at the time of completion and was considered to be luxurious. The special features included a modern teaching kitchen with dining room, a banquet hall and a screening room as well as several sports facilities. Apart from the gym and a gymnastics terrace there was also a swimming pool provided for the students, existing only into the sixties. The many terraces, the semicircular residential wing for the caretaker on the south side of the main building and the white facades with large window openings gave the school building a maritime appearance. After the Second World War the building complex was briefly used as American military hospital. In the late 1990s the Charles-Hallgarten School building has been carefully restored.