International school: from dream to reality

  • 2019-09-16

One year after the ground-breaking ceremony, the first school year already started in the new educational institution in Debrecen.

Those who kept track a few years ago of the grandiose project for the reconstruction of Nagyerdei Stadium, and then followed with interest the creation of the International School of Debrecen, could be justified in believing that the management of HUNÉP Universal Zrt. was looking for trouble. After all (as laypersons may summarily conclude), it is impossible to construct such significant buildings in such a short time. And then it turned out again that it is possible, and not in just any quality either…

A well-conceived building

In the architectural design competition announced for the international school, BORD Architectural Studio won with a concept that is centred around the shape of the circle, also carrying symbolic meaning. This simple shape symbolizes protection, unity and community, while subtly blending into the backdrop offered by the Great Forest. Community spaces, the administrative offices, the auditorium and the school canteen are located on the ground floor, while the upper level is devoted to undisturbed teaching. The mass of the building protectively embraces the outdoor community spaces and sports facilities. From the upper level, there are bridges leading to the basketball court, built on the rooftop of the building, while on the ground floor level, there is a grove-like inner courtyard, as well as the gymnasium block, which is halfway sunk into the ground.

Joint success

Miklós Bakos, the CEO of HUNÉP Universal Zrt., started his talk by saying that the international school was the first major project delivered by the company that was still started under the old leadership, and was completed by the company after the generational renewal of the management. “This project, whether we consider the special nature of the building, its functionality, the external environment, or the tight deadline, required extra organizational measures from the construction company. With a total floor space of 7,200 square metres and special architectural solutions (including the basketball court “floating” above ground level, the gymnasium that is halfway sunk into the ground, the articulated facade, the extensive glass surfaces, the large landscaped and paved areas across the grounds), the building complex itself posed a challenge. Furthermore, after the works continuing throughout the winter, the majority of the internal finishing works were left for the spring, which meant that the tasks had to be organized with much foresight, which challenge was successfully completed under the leadership of our colleagues, Tamás Hegymegi, director of production, and János Zsíros, project manager chief engineer. The company was also able to tackle the difficulties caused by the shortage of qualified labour, which is unfortunately a characteristic problem in the construction industry these days. I think that our company performed the tasks in accordance with the expectations, and the results (we hope) speak for themselves,” the CEO said.

Miklós Bakos also added that they have several other projects nearing completion. Life, however, does not stop here, either: in fact, the finishing works on the manufacturing hall of Continental are under way, so is also the construction of a hall for Trans-Sped, and among many other tasks, they treat the reconstruction of the outdoor water park in Debrecen as a high-priority project, which is probably going to be the biggest challenge faced by the company in the rest of the year.