architecture : urban : visual culture

Batthyány Heritage Center reception building and theater in Körmend

Dániel Tamás Kiss and Péter Tóth, interior designers of MORFO redesigned the reception building and theater hall of the Batthyány-Strattmann Castle in Körmend, the interior of which was completely transformed in the 70s. The spaces, which previously also functioned as theater rooms, were redesigned in today’s style, without hiding the remains of the classical architecture. The reconstruction received special mention at the Interior Design of the Year award ceremony.

By the recent reconstruction of the downtown of Körmend, the Batthyány-Strattmann Castle has been integrated into the city skyline again. At the same time, the traffic connection between the building complex and the Szabadság tér also became justified. Since the building creates a direct connection between the city center and the ensemble of listed buildings, there is a need to open it on the Szabadság tér side. The concept, prepared for the client, has defined the former riding school hall as a visitor center displaying the Batthyányi family and their heritage, a central reception building of the castle complex and the cultural and tourist origin of the city.

The aim of the interior design concept was to make the spaces as free as possible; however, by taking the structures into consideration, the design had to follow the restricted conditions. „Except for doors and windows, no form elements of interior design value can be found in the building, so we wanted to extract the former solid state and let air into the old building’s interiors by means of modern mass formation and use of materials. Interior design affects the dressing rooms on the mezzanine floor, the lavatories and lobby, and also the theater's auditorium. Regarding both masses and materials, we were thinking in a concept that is powerfully contemporary, fresh-minded but still timeless, made from sophisticated materials for the long run and uses state-of-the-art technology solutions. With the spatial formation and surface finishes we strived to create airy, lighter, more generous and transparent spaces. Wall coverings, ceiling elements and furniture evoke the form of acoustic panels used in the performance area.

Auditorium: Our aim was to emphasize the architectural elements and values that survived from the monumental building. Keeping the window seats in their full depth, the interior windows are shaded with black coatings. The parapet walls are removed from the reinforced concrete structure of the technical bridge, so they do not cover upstairs windows anymore. The concept wanted the visual world of the stage to dominate the theater. The auditorium should be functional, harmonious and restrained, it should not compete with the stage anyway. The purified concept, using minimal set of elements, consciously strengthens the simplicity of the former riding hall.


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