Social architecture and creating artistic value: Transformation of a school with a multipurpose hall

by Anna Krähling from Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Architecture, Hungary
Tutored by: Péter Klobusovszki

Author comments:

I am interested in architecture’s social aspects, so in my diploma project I tried to find a situation where I could devise a possible architectural solution for people in need. I joined the ongoing mission by the The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta aimed at revitalizing Tarnabod, a retrogressive village in Heves County, Hungary. They try to address every age group, work at the Children’s house, run the Kindergarten, the Elementary School and the Electrial Disassembling Plant - the only place of work for the villagers.
I decided transform and rephrase Tarnabod’s elementary school into a well-functioning institution that would serve as a community center for the village. The school site, along with the church, is situated in the heart of the village, surrounded by roads and Maltan institutions, making it ideal for the part.
The Charity Service also spreads new initiatives to Hungary, one of which is Szimfónia Program (based on the Venezuelan ’El Sistema’ music education program). It aims to enable underprivileged children to personally grow and to strengthen family bonds through the power of music. Working towards a mutual -musical- purpose consolidates their sense of community as well.
A central point of my design was to settle the currently uncertain situation of the program in the school and to provide an appropriate framework for its operation.

Tutor comments:

Anna Krähling selected her Diploma Project’s topic based on personal experiences. Getting to know a world where Roma families live in extreme hardship and poverty led her to decide that she as an architect can try to improve their living conditions. The Szimfónia Program, which aims to enrich the participating children’s lives and boost their self-esteem through musical education can also lead to positive change in the whole community. The desire to serve society testifies to the strong social empathy of the designer.
New and old parts conjoin to form a finished composition in which the largness of the complex is balanced by the inticate playfulness of the roofs and the moving around of the volumes. This is further detailed by the inner garden with its interesting proportion. It not only provides natural light for the corridor and the classrooms, but also adds to the diversity of the school’s spaces with its unique atmosphere created by the lush vegetation.
The new school with its well-structured spaces, simple and puritan appearance does not wish to boast instead it gives a fair answer to the question addressing something a lot broader than a simple architectural problem. With its well-functioning spaces, its gym hall it supports not only the schoolchildren, but other communities, the families and the village as a whole, providing a foundation for a brighter future.

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