ALTERNATIVE SECONDARY SCHOOL, EXTENSION

Location Budapest
Client Alternative Secondary School of Economics
Floor area 2 890 m2
General designer MCXVI Architects
Leading architect designer László Herczeg, Katalin Csaba
Architects Gergely Galántai, Zsófia Paál, Dániel Szabó
Status Preliminary design
Project year 2019

The initial design concept involved school year 11 to 13, a divisible gym and a large aula connecting the two parts of the building. Later the need for a new theatre room and more training rooms arose. We also had to solve the garbage storage, the entry to the inner courtyard, bicycle storage, a buffet connected to the aula and a handball court-sized sports yard. The revision of the program and the architectural design took place in multiple rounds over a 6-month period. We have deliberately not further elaborated on the needs to leave the imagination free of thought.

The building regulation plan set out very tight constraints on the location of the building. In addition to building heights and installation parameters, it designates a specific construction site. We have tried various concepts to accommodate the gym as the largest space, but in terms of operation, regulation and the proper size of the sports yard, only the street front placement proved to be a good solution. The small schools, in accordance with the institution’s specific internal functioning, consist of a group of practice rooms and community spaces. They were placed next to the existing staircase, covering the current firewall. The small school tower, placed between the sports yard and the old building, is a large cantilever above the ground floor over the sports yard. The old and new parts of the building are connected by the aula, as in the school’s other building in the Raktár utca. The façade of the old building becomes an interior wall of the aula yet the old side corridors remain to be filled with sunlight. Since the existing building is extremely closed, it is counter-balanced with an open, light and flowing space structure visible from the street and from the inner courtyard.

We kept the old entrance, however, connected it directly into the aula. The space of the aula is also the space of arrival, organization, celebrations and ‘being there’. We designed a library room in connection with the garden, the buffet was placed near the entrance and the theatre room was opened from the space connected to the buffet. The set of loose spaces forms an open community space on the ground floor.

The stories of the new building have been adjusted to the stories of the existing to ensure passage at all levels and access to the entire building complex. On the mezzanine floor, there are smaller exercise rooms and changing rooms for the sports hall, as well as a yoga room and a gym. The sports hall can be split into two and also has a small stand for approximately 40 spectators.

 

Publication:

Open alternative on Építészfórum.hu (HU)