Royal Secondary Boy’s School

Grösslingová Grammar School, GAMČA
Address: Bratislava, Grösslingová 18
Architect: Ödön Lechner
Builder: Antal Durvay
Designed 1903-04, constructed 1906-08

Even though the grammar school and the neighboring Blue Church were built together in a single commissioned project, both buildings were architecturally designed to be two relatively distinct units spanning two rectangular city blocks that are a part of the grid pattern.

The grammar school building has an “L” shaped floor plan and a single-loaded corridor. Classrooms face east and north. The main entrance is located in the center of the main wing with a double staircase standing out in the hall joining the two wings.   The eastern wing is composed of two auditoria with raked seating, one above the other. The side wing culminates in a two-story gymnasium. The building frames the block and a generously-sized interior courtyard. It is also flanked by a decorative wall whose ornamentation corresponds to the school building’s embellishment. The courtyard’s design was supposed to include a caretaker’s house, but it was never built and a symbolic linden tree was placed instead and eventually planted. It has been captured in several period photographs as a luxuriant shade tree. Several ornamentation techniques characteristic of Lechner’s work were incorporated into the grammar school building. What is remarkable about the design is how the façade is divided into areas of different colors by cutting through the plaster, while the flat, slightly undulating ornamentation is inspired by folk art and motifs from Romanesque architecture. The same ornamentation was used in the design of the grammar school’s interior. Several elements likewise correspond to the decorations in the nearby church.

The grammar school building underwent extensive reconstruction in the early 21st century to return it to the original ochre, white and gray color scheme.


Source of illustrations:
Archive of the Department of Architecture, Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava City Archives.

Szyllaba, Emil: A Pozsonyi Gimnázium Árpád-házi szent Erzsébet emléktemploma [Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and the Pozsony Grammar School] Pozsony (Pressburg) 1914.
Balogh-Meyerová, Innet: Výstavba gymnaziálnych budov na Slovensku v kontexte architektonických vplyvov na začiatku 20. Storočia [Influences in the 20th Century on Grammar Schools Constructed in Slovakia]. Architektúra & Urbanizmus, 34, 2000, No. 1-2, p. 51-70