Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Tokaji Ferenc Secondary Grammar, Secondary Vocational School and Students’ Hostel, Tokaj, Hungary

Exemplary design categories: art and design facilities, cultural and historical value, outdoor spaces, sporting facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
Ecology - and creating much-needed additional space and facilities in the face of growing student demand - are the focal points of this school modernisation project in the historic town of Tokaj. The new outdoor sports grounds – which were constructed to accommodate growing numbers of students playing regular sports and taking final exams in PE - were designed to blend harmoniously with the natural environment. A stage was constructed for presentations and group rehearsals for students specialising in arts (literature programmes, acting, choir, artistic exhibition, etc) in the great hall and inner court. The construction of an analytical laboratory in the basement (two rooms were transformed) allows student to participate in environmental education and training programmes. The creation of flexible classrooms, huge common areas, project rooms, lecture halls, computer rooms, laboratories for practice, research, experiment and measurement, stages, drawing room for art activities and library has allowed the school to fulfil the education and training needs of students in the 21st century.

Construction materials were produced in factories of Tokaj region. The walls of the building are coated with sawn rhyolite tuff, which was mined in the environs of Tokaj. The constituent rocks of Tokaj Hill were used for the rock faces and the open-air stage. All the doors and windows were constructed using wood from pine trees in the area, the stage in the great hall was covered with local cork, and there is a 150-meter long flower stand. There is natural light in most areas in the school, and there is a patio, green roofing and stork nest in the ecology wing.

The school is used for adult sport and education programes. The sports hall is used for aerobics and women gymnastics training. Every summer for the last 27 years, the Tokaji Annual Convention of Writers and Authors (international gathering of authors, writers, poets, journalists, literature historians, using the Hungarian language for writing) has taken place at the school. The Choir of Tokaj Town has rehearsed on the stage of the great hall ever since the new school facility was built. The building also hosts many conferences and exhibitions.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
Although the local government chose the school site, the school director, a physics and mathematics teacher, and a history and geography teacher were employed as consultants in the design process and during construction by the chief architect. The design was published in the local media, and locals could give their opinions during meetings with the architect. Similarly, users (physical education teachers and the school technical supervisor) were consulted in the planning and design of the outdoor sports-ground. Several science, biology, environmental studies teachers were involved in the planning of the analytical laboratory; and literature, arts and acting teachers were actively involved in the design of the stage and amphitheatre.

Activity Areas: 1. Specialised environmental instruction wing: lecture halls for biology, chemistry and physics, instrumental and fluid chemicals’ laboratories, 3 storage units for equipment, 2 preparatory rooms, 3 special rooms for computer studies, 2 laboratories for foreign languages, hall for arts. 2. General knowledge instruction wing: 21 classrooms, 3 rooms for team work, library, staff room, 3 Offices for educational purposes, and reception rooms for parents. 3. Gym, sports hall, body building room, changing rooms, storage rooms for sport equipment, studio, outdoor sports-ground. 4. Great hall, inner court, studio, stage, buffet, open-air stage, meteorology station. Extension: outdoor sports-ground (60-meter long running course, running track and landing place of long-jumping, basketball court, shot-putting circle), cork-teak stage, analytical library in basement.

Project costs: HUF 14,944,700.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

  • Global rating average: 0.0 out of 5
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
not rated

User perspectives (2)

"I am truly delighted that the functions are not subordinated to the vision in this uniquely designed building. I am able to benefit in my everyday work from the facilities this building offers (analytical, instrumental and fluid materials’ laboratories, lecture halls for biology, chemistry, physics; IT rooms etc.) Due to its advantageous location it is optimal for field-work (wet habitat, dry habitat, world famous wine culture, 1100 years of history)."
Teacher
"I study at a beautiful school. It is more amazing to me than any of those shopping malls. I feel at home in it. It is modern yet has its own soul. I like the outdoor sports-ground and the gym the most. The IT room is also cool. It is good to know that not only banks, office buildings and shopping malls can be nice and modern but our school as well.’ Headmaster’s opinion, ‘Our school is a constantly modernised institution offering a wide choice of special trainings. We do not only widen the range of educational selection, but equipment and facilities in all fields are also improved from our own resources or with the help of applications. Our aim is to educate with our surroundings and interior design; we provide a healthy environment, sufficient light and air, vast spaces and working conditions that far exceed the average. The vision and atmosphere of the building captivates the visitors the instant they set foot in our institution."
Student

Images (5)

Drawings (3)

General plan of the school (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Bodonyi Architechtural Ltd
Plan of the outdoor sports-ground (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Bodonyi Architechtural Ltd
Cross section and elevation of the fence of the sports-ground and cross section of the running track (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Bodonyi Architechtural Ltd