Puritan and Accommodating Practicality

The Administrative Building of the Franciscan Secondary Grammar School, Szentendre

Architects: János Golda, Melinda Híves, Erzsébet Mészáros
Text: András Hadik
Photos: Tamás Szántó

Preserved from the era of state socialism, the Franciscan Grammar-School in Szentendre was the single co-ed institution of the few Catholic schools in Hungary. In its first staff not only Franciscan teachers, but also those of the other, already dissolved orders (e.g. cistercian, salesian, benedictine or piarist) were represented. Its students were either from Szentendre or commuted to the town from the neighbouring villages, but the majority came from the capital city, especially those who were not admitted to other grammar schools based in Budapest because of their „class-alien” parents. The school received the single-storey complex of the former local police in 1950 which was arraged around two yards, complete with outbuildings and stables. Later on, the order maintaining the school found out that the single-storey wing north of the main entrance could not provide the spaces for the functions it had then, even though it had been extended several times, so it was decided to have a two-storey building built with a high roof after the demolition of the existing wing. Compared to the old one, the new unit gave an extension not only vertically, but also horizontally towards the yard. The extension accommodating to its small town environment evokes the strict architecture of old monasteries with contemporary means without being showish, and is a contribution to its context that can be used quite effectively.

Client: Magyarok Nagyasszonya Ferences Rendtartomány
General architecture: Káva Kft.
Leading architect: Erzsébet Mészáros
Architects: János Golda, Melinda Híves, Erzsébet Mészáros
Structure: István Kenese, Tibor Csáki
HVAC: János Szira, Zsolt Téglás
Electrical engineering: Péter Major, Gábor Nagy
Fire protection: Zsolt Fenyvesi