Bogle Architects breaks ground on innovative new education campus in Slovakia

Work has commenced on the first phase of Bogle Architects’ new boarding school for LEAF Academy in Slovakia. Located in Vištuk to the North East of the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, the project is for students aged 15 to 19 and was won by Bogle through an international design competition in 2015. Following an in-depth consultation process, the beginning of construction was celebrated on the 10th of October in a ground-breaking ceremony attended by the Mayor of Vištuk.

Situated in a rural hilltop setting on former farmland, the design of the co-ed school is sympathetic to its rural surroundings, responding sensitively to the agrarian landscape while ensuring a contemporary feel.

The scheme is being developed in six distinct phases, with Phase 1 encompassing a group of residential buildings arranged in two clusters of four blocks that include dormitories for 400 pupils and three teacher accommodation blocks. The design of these blocks references the pitched roofs of typical farmstead buildings while delivering modern student accommodation.

Closer to the centre of the site, the learning components of Phase 1 comprise two teaching buildings, a dining hall, a sports building and the EL (Entrepreneurial Learning) building, all arranged around a new public square. Co-working spaces feature throughout, while the EL building includes a workshop where pupils are taught to design product prototypes. The scheme also includes a state-of-the-art technology room designed for teaching computer programming. The sports building, outdoor sports facilities, library and medical clinic will be available for use by the residents of Vištuk.

Passive design solutions have been deployed throughout the scheme, including passive solar gain during the winter months. Many of the buildings are naturally ventilated and some are designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification.

Matej Sapak, Principal of LEAF Academy, comments:

“I am delighted that construction has started on this innovative new campus, which aims to help young people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to achieve their academic and entrepreneurial potential. The campus will combine spaces for education, sports, housing and student activities, and support our ambition to make Vištuk an active learning centre in the Carpathian region, while also developing strong links with neighbouring communities and organisations.”

Barbora Markechová, Director at Bogle Architects, states:

“Designing a boarding school with such a unique study programme was both a pleasure and challenge for us. Vištuk‘s countryside offers all the conditions for creating a progressive campus that sensitively complements the surrounding environment. Our experience of designing educational buildings around the world has, we believe, helped to create an inspirational yet innovative learning environment for students.”