Technical University in Zvolen


Category: Schools and dormitories

Architect: Vladimír Dedeček
Interior design: Jaroslav Nemec
Location: T. G. Masaryka 24, Zvolen
Design: 1968–1969; 1975–1978
Built in years: 1977–1984

Výrazovou dominantou auly je strešná rovina, ktorú dotvára geometrická hra trojuholníkových podhľadových platní a centrálne situovaný svetelný objekt

The large complex of buildings of the Technical University in Zvolen, formerly the University of Forestry and Woodworking, is situated in the vicinity of the main expressive town landmark – the Zvolen Castle. Constructed in the spirit of socialist modernism, the building appeals to visitors with original shapes, the use of geometric motifs, and the layering of individual parts forming one organic whole. The main composition motif is the central mass of the auditorium with a sculpturally designed roof consisting of two interlocking octagonal pyramids. Situated in a foreground, the auditorium is surrounded at ground level by gradually sloping, continuous monoblocs housing the university departments. 


The main operational core of the layout is the entrance hall, serving simultaneously as a respirium (an area for relaxation) for four lecture halls. “The entrance area combines lamellar and frame wooden elements with a distinctive sculptural structure of the suspended ceiling and the stone floor. Underneath the composition of the suspended ceiling grids, tubular lights protrude in a repetitive rhythm. Glazed display cabinets with wooden frames and built-in lights delineate and segment the space. Their L-shaped morphology defines the sections of the individual lecture halls and at the same time creates seating nooks. The corridors leading to the lecture halls located outside the respirium are illuminated by large windows oriented to the atriums designed already in the conceptual phase of the building’s design. Built-in storage systems line the corridors in sections of the departments on the first floor. The principal furniture in the interior of the lecture halls consist of folding wooden seating made of solid wood and tables fixed into the floor. The walls are lined with variously composed wooden slats of varying widths, similar to the ones in the respirium.” [4] 


The auditorium interior and adjacent lobby spaces are submerged below the ground level. The octagonal ground plan of the room laid the foundations for the creation of an amphitheatrical type of auditorium with a large elevation and an atypical shape of the stage. The architectural means of expression are manifested in the diagonal placement of masses in relation to the main axis, the use of geometric morphology, and vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines are also interpreted in the interior. The distinctive dominant feature of the auditorium is the ceiling plane reflecting the roof structure and artistically complemented by a set of triangular plates and bowl-shaped segments at the bottom of the balcony. The spectacular, spatially extended geometric play of the suspended ceiling elements is complemented by the vertical V-shaped wall panelling. The atmosphere of the interior is enhanced by light effects, which are created by a central light object and a set of spotlights placed on the sloping walls of the auditorium. 

The design of the individual areas, even with certain expressive differences, appears unified and coherent. Despite partial interventions, the interiors have retained their original look and identity, which is documented by the words of Katarína Verešová: “Across the entire interior of the building, veneered surfaces dominate large areas, which refers to the very substance of this educational institution. The suspended ceilings and panelling vary in structure from room to room, but they are always unified by the artistic motif of a line. The interior elements’ design is characterised by material and colour continuity. At present, the premises are gradually being renovated and thus there is also mixing of styles and expressions and gradual concomitant disappearance of the building’s spirit. In spite of its relatively long existence and partial interventions, the interior of the building still remains very tasteful. One can feel the quality of the materials, as well as the craftsmanship of the design and the details.” [4]

Used sources
  1. Vysoká škola lesnícka a drevárska. [University of Forestry and Woodworking.] Website: Register of Modern Architecture – Department of Architecture, Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Available at:
  2. Technická univerzita, Zvolen. [Technical University, Zvolen.] Website: Available at:
  3. Perný, Lukáš: Budovy, ktoré poznáte. Vladimír Dedeček, architekt neskorej moderny, ktorý vstúpil do našich životov. [The buildings you know. Vladimír Dedeček, the architect of late modernism who entered our lives.] Website: TV CROWD/CROWD TWO. Available at:
  4. Verešová, Katarína: Vysoká škola lesnícka a drevárska, v súčasnosti Technická univerzita vo Zvolene. [University of Forestry and Woodworking, currently Technical University in Zvolen.] Seminar paper for the Public Interior course, Faculty of Architecture and Design STU Bratislava, Summer Term 2022–23
Photo documentation

Katarína Verešová