architecture : urban : visual culture

Taking root - The International School of Debrecen

"The foundation of a school is not only a universal symbol of believing in the future, but an initiation aimed at transforming the surrounding physical and mental space. This is a positive process, of course. From the beginning it has the power to create an identity and later, tradition." The Geon group's aim for the International School of Debrecen is to create these roots. 


Since we are at the beginning of the process, the weight of the first steps - not to underestimate the responsibility of the school founders - is most heavily on the architect's shoulders. From the idea of creating tradition, we were inspired to put an activity in the hands of the students, through which a strong, decade-long connection can be formed. According to our suggestion, each new student, at the beginning of the school year will plant a tree in the field, which may be the beginning of a process that connects the school neighbourhood with the intensive area of Nagyerdő. Thus the strong contour can be dissolved, it can be combined with the external educational, sport and recreational areas.

It is a very important step because this way the desire that the environment and nature form an integral part of the teaching method can be fulfilled.


As the area is not surrounded by a wall in its classical sense, its orientation becomes uncertain. The strong axis of Bánat Street, which has been designed for the historical building of the university, is closed by the building of the grammar school, but its origin is at a crossroads, and it seems that the old intention - with the axis built toward Nagyerdő - is not a vision of a living axis. Nevertheless, we believe that it is time to change this and create a connection between the two educational institutions.

One of the biggest advantages of the layout is that the external spaces appear differently, they are open to their environment (marked by Nagyerdő, detached house zone, agricultural area, ... etc.), while at the same time it embodies the possibility of an intimate, secure inner courtyard that logically organizes the everyday life of the school. The ground floor ring provides a continuous interaction between the bustling interval periods, while the attached educational wings have their own aura with their associated yard segments. The inner courtyard is a real community space, it is used on weekdays and on institutional festivals and events, all of which are enforced by the auditorium, the two spaces can be opened not only visually but also physically.

The architecture

The degree of development will inevitably change the scale of the built environment. Taking this into account, we decided to break the scale down. We did not want to have a massive, bulky character, because its scale stretches the space around itself. As a consequence of the change of scale, environmental adaptation is difficult to interpret, so we consciously used a tool that is common in agricultural areas, in the rational, simple formal world of farm buildings. The composition, however, is novel, because the masses around the central space relieve the bad practice of orthogonal façades. Circling the building, there are always newer and newer contemporary architectural situations. Of course, there is more to the composition, the possibility that the outer environment broken into smaller areas can cover the whole surroundings in a varied way.




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