A-ZERO were part of the international competition winning team, led by renowned Irish architects O’Donnell + Tuomey to redesign the Central European University campus in Budapest, Hungary. The design incorporates a number of historic and new buildings and seeks to create a route through the city block. The first phase was completed in 2016.
A-ZERO worked with the design team to develop and validate key passive strategies including daylighting, natural ventilation and mixed mode cooling strategies. The environmental challenges were significant. The climate is extreme, the existing University had been highly air conditioned. Environmental strategies and principles for reduction of energy consumption, not commonly in use in Hungary, have been incorporated into the developed design.
The environmental strategy of the project is to use the interconnected semi-conditioned courtyard spaces to bring light and air to the heart of this high-density campus. This approach has manifold benefits over the building’s lifecycle in the climate of Budapest, allowing a mixed-mode operation for much of the year, improved visual and thermal comfort for staff and students, and energy / carbon savings through optimized building services.
Photographs © Tamás Bujnovszky