II. Rákóczi Ferenc High School - Budapest

In 2002 an invited design competition was signed for the expansion of II. Rákóczi Ferenc High School. The first price winner plan of the Építész Stúdio was a brave reconstruction of the building. The key concepts of the plan is purification and order.

The new wings were built roughly in the old ones place, but with a better orientation, with on opened U-shape. At the „bay” of the wings took place the new gym staying inside of the old ramp. The building is smartly operating with the level differences of the ground. The street facade’s gap was filled and the preserved wing’s facade was renovated. There are administrative functions and technical class rooms in those wings while at the quiter back classrooms. The old wing’s gym became the hall, and they gained a transitional space by unbuilding the entrance’s windbreak.

One of the most exciting part of the building is the connecting hallway. The facade that used look at the garden, became an inner space, and the corridors similar to bridges run in front of it. In the newwing one level-high and shifted alleviations dissolve the rigidity of the corridors and let more lightto the darker downstairs. There is a backyard at the top of the gym, with a fanlight, which made the space more diversified with seatings. The flatroof is communicating with the garden by its formation and installation, there is ramp shaped bridge that connects the building with the garden, like a navelcord that connects the artificial with the nature.

The facade is built from the bricks of the demolished wings creating a continuity between the old and thenew and introduced another approach of the building. But this building also contraversial, as Levente Szabó said: “as a good intention this building is after all decorating, signify, uses quotation-marks, mixes the old with the new, there is no obvious distinction.” Despite that this buildings relation to its past is a great example. It preserves its values, but not conservates the imperfections and with thisit became a school that is well-used, valuable and that sees the importance of continuity.

translation: Noémi SZIKSZAI

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