Freie Schule Anne-Sophie school occupies new buildings Inauguration celebrated with ceremonial hand-over of keys

Künzelsau-Taläcker. The new buildings of Freie Schule Anne-Sophie, located on the Taläcker residential estate in Künzelsau, opened their doors punctually on September 8, 2008 at the beginning of the new school year 2008/2009. 350 pupils took their seats in the new classroom buildings after a construction phase lasting just 14 months. The official inauguration ceremony, including the symbolic handing over of the keys, took place on Friday, September 19.

Freie Schule Anne-Sophie has moved to its new learning center: 200 “learning partners” (pupils) have been attending the kindergarten and elementary school at Freie Schule Anne-Sophie since the beginning of the new school year 2008/2009, while 150 learning partners are currently filling the ranks in the junior high school (grades 7- 10), which constitutes a single-grade middle school and a parallel-grade junior high. The official inauguration ceremony took place in the school’s festively decorated gymnasium on September 19 in the presence of 1,200 invited guests.

Bettina Würth, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group and the school’s initiator, particularly welcomed the opening: “Today, on September 19, 2008, we are happy to unveil these fantastic new buildings with their absolutely unique architecture, an act which marks the completion of the move from the former agricultural college on the Zollstockweg to the Taläcker estate. In other words, Freie Schule Anne-Sophie has arrived!”.

Franz Zipperle, Managing Director of the Charitable Würth Trust, greeted the guests at the opening ceremony. The Charitable Würth Trust sponsors Freie Schule Anne-Sophie. Helmut Rau, MdL (Member of the Federal State Parliament) and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport for the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold Würth, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts and Volker Lenz, Mayor of the City of Künzelsau, all passed on their congratulations on the occasion of the inauguration. School principal Frieder Münz presented a report on the school's first days.

Pupils’ musical inspires audience

Pupils at Freie Schule Anne-Sophie ensured that the official celebrations ended in style. They inspired their audience with a performance of the musical “Der kleine Tag” (“The Little Day”). They had rehearsed this musical, by children’s songwriters Wolfram Eicke, Rolf Zuckowski and Hans Niehaus, especially for the occasion.

Symbolic hand-over of the keys

Initiator Bettina Würth and architect Siegfried Müller presented the keys to the new school building to the school management, Frieder Münz and Peter Fratton, during a symbolic ceremony.

The architecture and its philosophy

Siegfried Müller, the architect who designed the new school building, explained how the educational concept is reflected in the building's architecture. The architecture firm Müller/Djordjevic-Müller from Stuttgart considered it important to give form-related expression to the word “free“ in their designs – “free“ in the sense of its inclusion in the name of the school, Freie Schule Anne-Sophie. Mr. Müller explained the motivation behind the design as follows: “Our top priority was the creation of a free view for all the classrooms. The challenge for us was to create independent school units, each of which functioned autonomously and freely of one another, yet which concurrently formed a whole”.

The new buildings

Five buildings with a gross area of almost 23,000 m² were constructed on an area of land measuring over 40,000 m². Freie Schule Anne-Sophie learning center consists of a main building housing a canteen, auditorium, library and administration offices, a kindergarten and elementary school which occupy a second building, a junior and a senior high school located in a third and fourth building and the swimming pool and gymnasium in the fifth and final building.

The learning center is subdivided into three “districts”, namely the elementary level, the junior high level and the senior high level. However, each district consists of individual classroom buildings. While learning partners and their companions can stay in their own learning areas, they can also meet at the canteen and swimming pool and all over the grounds.

The educational concept

Bettina Würth described her motivation for founding the school as follows: “Every child stepping on this new path of learning should leave Freie Schule Anne-Sophie as a winner!”.

Freie Schule Anne-Sophie is a private school offering all-day school care for all study programs – from kindergarten entrance to high school diploma. The school works according to its own educational concept. It offers a conceptual learning environment for individual, independent and goal-oriented learning.

All learning partners should be able to reach their own goals in their own ways and in their own time. They are supported and challenged by their learning companions, or teachers, in the process. In order to achieve individuality in terms of learning, the school's architectonic and structural design ensures that participants benefit from diverse learning opportunities which facilitate independent learning.

An important design principle at Freie Schule Anne-Sophie is “autonomous learning in a conceptual environment”. Education means designing the environment in an appropriate manner. The new buildings at Freie Schule Anne-Sophie are designed to fulfill this requirement in an architectural sense, making the school a “living space of learning”.

Freie Schule Anne-Sophie was founded at the beginning of the 2006/2007 school year. Until the move to its new premises, it was housed temporarily in Künzelsau in the former agricultural college buildings on the Zollstockweg.