The circle itself is perfect, yet simple, a fundamental shape of unity, transcending time, cultures or languages. It is the main architectural concept of Gearing - International School of Debrecen (ISD). In Gearing, this symbolic form encompasses the natural and the man-made world into one harmonious unit, contributing to the upbringing of a conscious generation that is responsible for itself and its environment.
ISD can accommodate about 500 pupils from kindergarten to secondary school. The spaces of the different age groups of students are positioned alongside an arc of a circle. The ordinary rectangular form and the conceptual circle shape created the octagonal classrooms, which are carefully placed in order to create longitudinal, dynamically pulsing spaces between them.
These interconnected cogs are shifted horizontally and vertically from each other so natural light can flow through the interiors, creating a sense of freedom in the inner aisle ways. The sharp dividing line of inside and outside is therefore blurred, and spaces are opened up even more. This idea continues outside as the gardens follow the conceptual line of the circle creating a transition between man-made and natural forest environment (part of the EU’s natural reserve program Natura 2000).
A wide range of environmentally conscious and energy efficient solutions are implemented. The building utilizes geothermal heat in the gym and has a natural ventilation system. In order to sustain rainwater, it is collected from the roofs and instead of directing it in the drain system, it is gathered in infiltration basins to be released into the soil. Gearing stays true to the essence of its concept from its clear lead design idea, to its hidden functional solutions.