The Saint Gellért Hall, designed for a high school in Hungary’s capital, includes a sports court on its roof
Hungarian architecture practice Építész stúdió has completed a sports hall and surrounding landscaping for Saint Margaret High School in Budapest. The 630 sq m hall comprises an indoor basketball court, which can be adapted to a range of different sports and activities, bordered by a 450-seat grandstand. There are also changing room facilities and a rooftop sports court.
The new hall is half-buried in the school’s gardens, which the studio has itself re-landscaped. ‘Sinking the new sports hall was a rational decision both in regards of space and environment,’ say the architects. ‘The considerable size of the hall is reduced by more than half, so the surroundings are less disturbed, while the rooftop is an additional field for the school.’
The garden of the historic high school – which is housed in a grand neobaroque building in central Budapest – was once characterised by well-kept terraces, which were subsequently damaged during the Second World War. Építész stúdió restored the garden with a defined slope and a zigzagging path leading to hard landscaped terraces and various levels of the sports hall.
The main building entrance, along with the lowest level of the structure, is fully buried in the landscape. Spectators and visitors can directly access the main hall from a new terrace above, alongside a glazed wall. The rooftop sports court can be accessed from the top level of the garden slope – and is used for football as well as other activities.
The primary building structure is concrete, which is lined with wooden surfaces inside the main hall for practicality. Slim vertical galvanised pipes clad the exterior, rising to become the safety ‘netting’ around the rooftop court.
Építész stúdió, which is based in Budapest, is known for its range of architectural projects across Hungary – spanning civic, educational, residential and office buildings, as well as landscaping and public realm.
Photography by Gergely Kenéz