Lucian Blaga competition

Year                            2023

Program:                  Educational

Location:                 Cluj-Napoca

Surface:                  9873 sqm

Status:                  Contest

Starting from the need for the continuous development of the educational environment, the presented solution aims to satisfy the functional needs of the existing climate with an emphasis on integration in the urban context defined by the layout of the surrounding buildings.
Overall, the buildings are differentiated into 3 education cycles, the north building keeping the primary school (grades 0-4) and the south building housing the middle school and high school (grades 5-12). Disfunctions found at the level of each building, as it can be observed in the current state, generate situations that require a versatile and flexible approach to the expansion idea of the schools. For this reason, the arrangement of the new spaces was made in such a way that the two buildings can run their activites individually in terms of the educational act, resulting in the distance between the buildings to be traveled only in particular situations involving the physical presence requirement for teachers or high school students,for example, in activities such as sports (from the south building to the north building).


From a technical point of view, the proposal aims to expand the existing buildings using a mixed structural framework – reinforced concrete and metal, with the use of high-efficiency materials that minimize the impact on the environment, thus giving buildings energy efficiency. It is also foreseen to replace the gable roof in order to be able to use the terrace for the purpose of placing photovoltaic panels and recovering rain water for later reuse. The south remodeling of the existing building features an atrium that spans the entire height of the building, providing natural light and exits for the movement of interior air so that the flow of natural ventilation is positively impacted.

At the level of architectural and urban expression, the solution proposes a contemporary approach that wants to counterbalance the character of the area dominated by the buildings erected in the communist era, by bringing in the foreground some elements related to the spirit of the place, the genius loci of Cluj, visibly marked in the two buildings by introducing the inner courtyard and portico for each of the two buildings. These architecture lingvistic elements are designed to offer a familiar contemporary image that can participate in a natural dialogue with the adjacent physical context but also with the social and cultural one.

The quality of the proposed spaces stands out for their adaptability and reuse in the context of the continuous reconfiguration of educational requirements. The new spaces are looking to cover a wide spectrum of possible educational activities and enhance the experience of the students by placing them in the middle of a small world designed for creative and expansive endeavors. The interplay of outside green spaces, courtyards, and the inside basked in natural light, aims to create a dynamic flow of space and views, creating not only a physical relationship between the individual functional units for both the revitalized spaces of the existing buildings and the new proposed ones, but also a visual and sensorial connection that one can experience throughout the day.

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