pro scholare

pro scholare

Rieselfeld, a new district in Freiburg, where is considered as the “Green capital” in Germany, is an excellent practice of ecologically sustainable development cities. The “Pro Scholare” Apartment which invested, planned and constructed by Frey Architekten Group, is located in the east of Rieselfeld, facing with Rieselfeldallee. Whenever people taking city train into Rieselfeld, numerous solar panels and mini wind turbines will be found, lying on the roofs of houses in this area.

“Pro Scholare“ Apartment is a pilot project operated with the “Five Finger Principle”,  which was created by Wolfgang Frey, the president of Frey Architekten Group. The “Five Finger Principle” illustrates the sustainable development from five aspects, including ecology, economy, society, vision, and motivation. From those aspects, “Pro Scholare“ Apartment can obviously be considered as an excellent practice conducted in ecologically sustainable development model.

Architectural Planning

The “Pro Scholare“ Apartment is an integrated building, not only with residential function but also with commercial space. It has 6 floors in total, and its ground plan is in the shape of „L“. In addition, the first floor was planned with 4 commercial service units, and above the first floor there are 82 units for resident, each residential units in the apartment all with an outdoor balcony.

According to the requirement of city planning, the top two floors are set back. As a result, the top two floors combine with the prominent solar panels and the well-designed corners of building shows a form of variable levels of corner space and also the strong architectural accent.

The south of the building is enclosed, forming an inner courtyard. It was designed with multiple service functions, such as public seats, bicycle parking, and garbage collection rooms and so forth.  Obviously, the inner courtyard provides a recreation and communication space for residents. Besides, there are several hidden light wells to provide adequate and natural ventilation and lighting for underground garage.

Special Sustainable Building Technologies

The Use of Renewable Energy

 The fences of balconies in the southern façade are setup with solar panels as well, it shows the main intention for emphasizing inner courtyard of “Pro Scholare“ Apartment. Indeed, the inclined angles states the strong connection between building and the sun from the view of all electricity generated by solar panels aims to support building lighting, ventilation and heating, and the rest of energy incorporates with municipal electricity grid. On the other hand, small wind turbines setup on roofs were constructed with the concept of decentralized off-grid power generation. And all the electric power generated by those small wind turbines will be supplied for common laundry room in the basement directly.

 Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP)

The heat pump system of “Pro Scholare“ Apartment consist of 25 pipes which were deeply buried 100 meter underground to collect geothermal energy. Through this system we can achieve the goal of optimizing the use of seasonal heat storage, for example, in summer, transferring indoor heat to underground through those pipes. In winter, inversely, transferring ground heat to indoor places to support heating system. As we all know, there is no pollution or waste will be generated through the operation of GSHP, which means it has minimal disturbance to environment, helping maintain ecological balance.

“Pro Scholare“ Model

“Pro Scholare“ Model was originally developed by Wolfgang Frey, the president of Frey Architekten Group. AS a new social resident model it proposes to promote communication between residents, create opportunities of collaboration, and eventually achieve the goal of living in harmony in this community.  For various householders, “Pro Scholare“ Apartment provides several options in different housing type for them to choose, such as, small one room apartment for singles, duplex apartment for families, and so on.  The whole building has accessibility for the disabled. It was established with accessible design according to the Barrier-free Design Standard. The architect even has cooperated with social welfare organization, providing a certain amount of social house for the disables.

Furthermore, the “Pro Scholare“ Housing Company which belongs to Frey Architekten Group was established which proposes to help manage the “Pro Scholare“ Apartment. The company is run in the new nonprofit organization model, the “Pro Scholare“ Model. It means after the building is completely constructed, and property ownership is transferred, the “Pro Scholare“ Housing Company will sign an indefinite discretionary contracts with householders, in the form of whole lease contract. And according to the contract, “Pro Scholare“ Housing Company will get a high degree autonomy in deciding rent out conditions, with the promise that giving householders a specific rate of reward. As a nonprofit organization, “Pro Scholare“ Housing Company rather than to make a profit purposes, but to promote harmonious community life through the way of selecting residents, balancing their interests, and simulating the life people living together, and etc.. In addition, “Pro Scholare“ Model is applied with the idea that supporting between neighbors. With this idea, people who living in “Pro Scholare“ Apartment can provide daily services for others residents like taking care of goods, helping the disable shopping, babysitting, and looking after old people, and etc.. As a reward, people can get some repayment for providing those services. Through this way, the communication between residents will be significantly promoted as well as their sense of belonging in this community.

Construction Worker as Stakeholder Model

Particularly worth mentioning is the balcony fences were carved with portraits of all construction workers, which is alongside the Rieselfeldallee. This not only for rewarding their contributions, but also aim to stimulate their passion on constructing. Those workers not only play the role of construction workers, but also as householders. For the Construction Worker as Stakeholder Model, first created by Frey Architekten Group, points out that construction workers can obtain the home-ownership in exchange for high quality constructing project. Besides, they will pay the loan through rental income without any other extra financial burden.

In the case of “Pro Scholare“ Apartment, there are 76 construction workers in total, owned a dwelling through this way. From this aspect, construction workers actually are constructing their own houses, so that it stimulated them to construct buildings with the highest quality. During the actual construction processes, we found that construction workers often discussed together and camp up with some remarkable applications, which can promote the feasibility and cost-effectiveness, furtherly reduce the cost of construction.

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  • Typology:
  • Residential-/commercial Buildings

  • Client:
  • Freie Liegenschaftsverwaltung GmbH
  • Location:
  • Gross floor area:
  • 5600㎡