The Vas Street Trade School was the most generously funded project in the municipal program for residential and educational building construction launched in 1909 by Mayor István Bárczy. Because of the unfavourable characteristics of the building site – the very narrow street where it is situated – already the first plans of the building, made in July, 1909 show an L-shaped structure whose front reaches the street only at the two ends (where the stairwells are placed), while the middle part is pushed back to allow more light to reach the classrooms on the lower floors. On these drawings the stairwell block on the right-hand side is more dominant, housing the gym hall and the assembly hall, both two floors high.

The new version, drawn in September, 1909 is more or less the same as the final version in terms of its bulk, with the two side towers still adorned with a dome surrounded by owl figures (on the left-hand side) and a globe (on the right-hand side). The final version of the drawings approved by the city council in July, 1910 shows well nigh the actual building as finally constructed. Construction work was by and large finished by the end of 1912, although some minor internal works remained to be carried out after the occupancy permit was issued in January, 1913.

The medium section of the street front shows the influence of the AEG factory building in Berlin, designed by Peter Behrens and constructed in 1909-1911. The strong visual emphasis on the vertical is reinforced by the upright blocks and elongated vertical windows of the two side towers and the four-storey high brick pilaster strips of the middle part (with a stepped section), which is crowned by a mansard roof following the Berlin example.

The jambed main and side portals are situated at the base of the side towers and show the influence of the architecture of ancient Eastern civilizations. The flat, unadorned masonry surfaces are counterpointed by large folk art inspired reliefs, which, however, incorporate a few modern symbols of trade, transport and industry. The details of the interior, such as the ornamental wall-paintings of the entrance hall and the stairwells, the terazzo tiles covering the walls of the corridors, the railings of the cloakroom, the carved and painted ornaments of the classroom doors as well as the motifs of the drinking fountain (never actually realized) all drew inspiration from folk art.

Pál Ritoók

Date of planning
1909.09 - 1912.12.31
Date of construction
1910 - 1913
Original address
VIII. Vas utca 9–11.
VIII. Vas utca 9–11.
Budapest Székesfőváros
Building type
School building
Building status

Detail plans

Archive photos

Afterlife of the building

Documentation of the present state of the building