Altstädter Volksschule, Glass school (Glasschule)
Otto Haesler was, along with Walter Gropius and Hannes Mayer, one of the pioneers of the Neues Bauen, or New Architecture. He built several important housing estates in this style in the town of Celle, but his best-known building is the Altstädter School, built between 1926 and 1928. This functional building employs a pared-down formal language and is an outstanding example of classical modernism. Shortly after opening, it had already gained international attention.
Haesler, who employed several Bauhaus members in his office, specified a steel frame construction for the school. The three-storey building is aligned north–south and consists of two side wings with classrooms – formerly separated for girls and boys – joined by a lower building in between. Following principles of the reform movement, each of the classrooms was designed for approximately 20 pupils and receives generous amounts of daylight. Due to its nearly 1,800 windows, the building is also known as the “Glasschule” (Glass school).
The core of the school is its multifunctional sports and event hall, which had initially been conceived as a separate building. It originally had a distinctive spatial quality evoked by a skylight band of Luxfer Prism glass tiles. The interplay of daylight and artificial light, combined with the multi-coloured interior design – red beams, grey, black and red doors – gave the space a carefully orchestrated aesthetic character. Regrettably, this impression no longer exists, as the walls are now panelled with wood and the skylights have been covered.
Otto Haesler attached great importance to the colour composition, for which the painter Karl Völker was responsible. Thus, the colours of the central hall were also repeated in the classrooms: light grey walls, blue curtains and red doors. The main entrance, set within a simple façade with banded windows, was given a coloured accent in the form of a red canopy.
Since it opened, the building has been in almost continuous use as a school, but it has undergone numerous alterations and modifications. A comprehensive refurbishment is therefore planned, including restoration of the original event hall. KS/DK]
Contact and opening hours
Please inform yourself about the current opening times and applicable access and hygiene regulations on site.
Directions by local public transport:Nächstgelegener Bahnhof der Deutschen Bahn: Bahnhof Celle
Nächstgelegene Haltestelle ÖPNV: Hallenbad
The architect Otto Haesler left a valuable legacy in Celle: three housing estates and a primary school.
Book: Bauhaus 100 Sites of Modernism
Extraordinary sites associated with the Bauhaus and modernism can be found throughout Germany—pioneering architecture that has enduringly shaped our understanding of life and work, learning and living. This travel guide brings the historical and architectural traces of over 100 examples of Neues Bauen building to life, making tangible the impact of the historical Bauhaus beyond the school, its sites and its time.
This place is part of the tour:
Tour World Heritage SitesHannover, Celle, Alfeld und Goslar
Experience three world heritage sites in Germany. The Chilehaus in Hamburg, the Fagus plant in Alfeld and the Rammelsberg mine in Goslar.