Nicolae Bălcescu Highschool Competition

Registration date:


Submission date:




Nicolae Balcescu High School

The city of Cluj-Napoca is fully embracing the belief that education is the basis of a healthy society and has thus started a program to rehabilitate school infrastructure, intending to continue it with European funding. EU’s allocation strategy supports the renovation of buildings and the increase of the quality of spaces in public and educational buildings, respectively. The municipality is hosting an architectural design competition to find the best solution to solve the current problems of the Nicolae Bălcescu Highschool and the neighbouring urban space.

The purpose of the competition is to find the optimal balance between the functional modernization of the high school, site integration, architectural appearance, technical solutions, economic solutions, and functional solutions for expanding the high school in the competition area, to transform the adjacent streets into a vibrant urban space of high-quality.  

Project Objectives:

  • Rethinking the complex consisting of the current high school buildings, the residential building, and the sports hall in order to maximize the areas used by the high school and to adapt the high school space to the current educational principles.
  • Integration in the protected historical area by highlighting the existing valuable elements and the adequacy of new interventions.
  • Inclusion of the area intended for the buildings of the proposed high school complex with a total gross building area of a maximum of 17,620 sqm.
  • Modernization / extension of the current functions and spaces of the high school to satisfy the needs of a maximum number of 1776 students, organized in 70 classes.
  • Conceiving a system to improve all the significant parameters of the energy balance at the level of the roofing and installations of the buildings maintained. Imagining new energy efficiency solutions for the proposed buildings and implementing the nZEB concept.
  • Arranging the schoolyard with an emphasis on as large as possible green areas and environmentally friendly materials.
  • Designing the urban space adjacent to the high school in order to facilitate its pleasant and safe walk-through by students and teachers, area residents, or passers-by, integrating the walkable and smart city principles.

Submission Requirements

Written Materials 

Each project will include an estimate of the design services. The financial proposal will have the values expressed in RON and will not exceed the maximum estimated ceiling for design costs. The financial proposal will be part of the negotiation basis for concluding the design services contract with the winner of the competition. 

Brief description of the concept of architectural-urban intervention: The conceptual bases of the proposed solution will be explained and the punctual decisions for the presented solution will be motivated. The explanatory texts, other than the captions and titles of the images, will not exceed 1000 words and will be arranged on the boards next to the drawings. 


4 sheets in extended A0 format (900 x 1300mm) will be submitted on white paper, without any rigid support, landscape layout, indicating the north and the scale of representations. 


The Design Competition is a public, single-stage competition, open to Romania, all countries of the European Union and of the European Economic Area, and to the Swiss Confederation. 

The competitors may be individual architecture offices, partnerships formed by individual architecture offices, architects or urban planners.

The candidates entering the Competition shall have as associate or employee a certified architect, member of the Order of Architects in Romania or of a similar organization in his or her country of origin, legally practicing and having the required qualification as architect, in compliance with the national legislation of his or her country of origin. The candidates, whether individually or as joint ventures, must have the legal capacity of concluding a design services contract in Romania, which will have to be proven to the Contracting Authority, should they win the Competition.