architecture : urban : visual culture

Music Education in an Air Defense Bunker

The diploma-work of Ákos Orbán reflects on the growing spatial demand of a music school. For the new functions, he has chosen a nearby defense shelter in visual connection to the school building, the features of which provide perfect acoustic isolation, despite the dense siting.

The Tóth Aladár Music School, which has a long past, is located in the Szív Street in District VI, but it has outgrown the original building for a while now.

The requirement is clearly stated: new rehearsal rooms are needed in which the pop music section can be installed, as well as a concert hall for a minimum of 150 people and a courtyard, where the students can breathe fresh air during the breaks.

In the parallel street, behind a residential building with low architectural value, there is a long-abandoned air defense shelter built in the 1950s. Its features provide perfect acoustic isolation. The rehearsal rooms of the pop music section will be moved to the defense bunker, while the building in front of it will be demolished and replaced by a newly built one, in which the concert hall will be located, along with other service units.

installation, bird's eye view - architect: Ákos Orbán


When designing the new building, it was an essential aspect to fit into the unbroken row of houses on the street, and to find the connection with the surrounding buildings.

The concert hall appears as a monolithic mass in front of the bunker, concealing it and preserving its hidden nature. However, it opens up on the axis formed at the music school: when stepping out, one can have an insight of being 'behind the scenes'. The axis divides the ground floor into two parts, thus creating the audience and the artist entrances. The transition space connecting the main entrance and the inner courtyard gradually opens towards the street like a funnel, almost sucking the visitors into the building.

bunker, reception - architect: Ákos Orbán


The double behavior of the building complex is reflected in the street façade too. On the one hand, it expresses monolithic mass and compactness, protecting the hidden bunker on the courtyard, on the other hand, it communicates with the building of the music school in the opposite. In addition to the design of the already mentioned transition space, the building also opens toward the music school in its surface.

The plan tries to find a way to rehabilitate an unused utilitarian building with a change of attitude so that it represents the coming future instead of a decaying past.


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