Tradition and innovation. As natural treatments begin to fill a part again in medicine, re-evaluating the thousands of years of tradition, so realizes the building science in the same way the importance of its own traditions. This process is not only induced by the energy crisis, but it is also part of the intellectual stream, which doubts the omnipotence of technological progress.
The identity of the medical school is to learn the latest basic skills, to apply them in a reliable, credible, secure way. The built environment has to give architectural framework to all these, and so to transmit this reliable, credible, secure identity with the proven educative effect of the environment. New technologies are present, however they serve more covertly the new, larger-scale spaces, as they have lost their all-powerful role. Their importance remains, but in the background, so they will find their appropriate place. In the foreground occur quite materialistic, classical elements anew: earth, water, air and fire, which all helps to form a people-oriented inner feeling and outer atmosphere, through the means of energetics, landscape planning, acoustics.
What does it mean in this context? Let us see point by point.
Developing the campus we can show up similar aspects to the way a city fabric grows naturally. It can be compared to forests overgrowing to living space which still offers soil and light. It is beyond question that here the limit is the building line, but expanding to the vertical direction offers big freedom. The heat-storing and insulating capacity of the soil is very advantegous. Considering exclusively this aspect, it should mean that the best way to build is underground, but of course we have many other points to regard, so we can only approach this goal, because technology can not replace the role of the soil. Green roof is favourable but not absolutely sufficient so we need underground ventilation tunnels as well.
The piped water system ensure easily the water supply, however the best micro-clima can be reached by a traditional water surface, which gain central position inside the building. The green roof hinders the sudden flooding of rain water, and collecting it in tanks provides water for sprinkling and rinsing.
It is an aim to solve the ventilation of the building with the least possible machine-made technology in favour of natural solutions. The ventilation-air driven through the underground tunnels naturally warms up in winter and cools down in summer. The natural ventilation is also helped by the double system of patios+airspaces, because it is not enough to air the inner spaces, these inner spaces have to be joined to the outer spaces and to the patios to provide the appropriate shaded ventilation. In fact, sunshine defines the move of air, so we can mention the orientation of the building as well as a shading aspect. All of the patios and courtyards are shaped so that direct light can’t let into the closed spaces, but at the same time to perceive enough natural light and to ensure free view. These demands shaped the “mass-fabric”: a form which is massive and heavy but also visually airy and transparent thanks to the lot of patios, courtyards and transitional spaces. The number of levels separate crystal-clear the different functions.
As it is obviously present the power of fire in the burnt bricks, the skin of the building, incorporating the power of this classical element. Due to the technology it resorbs the warmth from the fire of the sun, but does not let the heat in the building thanks to the ventilated airgaps. The bricks laid in grid function as a traditional shading device, they prevent the building from direct sunshine.
Fire-protection can be also mentioned here indirectly. The building can be divided in four fire compartments according to the four levels. The inner air-spaces belong to the lower compartment. In case of fire these air-spaces on the upper levels can be enclosed by sliding walls. The emergency exits offer themselves thanks to the sloping, terrace-like terrain. Two closed staircases ensure escape routes as well.
The main entrance is located in the central core of the building, this is the noisiest point of the house. You enter a lounge, from where the whole functional order of the house is visible from the very first moment. This is also a bridge-situation, as the terrain slopes through between the two courtyards underneath, offering a more silent, main rest area down below. The study area is situated here on the ground floor, separated from the bridge, with a view from east to the southern courtyard. The privacy of the research area is provided by its upper-floor location.
The two courtyards have spaciousness like city squares. This size and scale arranges primarily the spaces around them, and also emphasizes their importance.
The northern courtyard (where randomly grow the existing trees) can give place for playful common events, lectures or parties, while the southern courtyard (with strict planted trees, imagined as an orange grove) is more ordered, the place of contemplation. The cultivated atmosphere of the closed inner yards evocate the garden of knowledge, similar to scenes where ancient wise men had spent time with their followers.
The outer character is defined by the rubbed lime-plastered brickwork, which is repairable, exchangable. Inside the floors have light-coloured, smooth concrete surface. The clay plaster of the walls has role in the humidity-balance. Large glass surfaces can be used both inside and outside, which can be built in as homogene pane of glasses. Perfect sight can be provided without further splitting or frame, without visible technicist details.
The reinforced concrete framework is strengthened by vertical cores, the slabs work economically with small spans. The structural raster with filling walls provides functional flexibility, gives a chance for future rearrangements. The bridge between the two courtyards works without further points of support ensuring transparency and lightness. The walls of the bridge, the wall and the parapet of the stairs function statically as load bearing walls.