architecture : urban : visual culture

Consistent Materials, Acute Angles

For the competition of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, made for young architects, a remodeling of the historical center in Székesfehérvár was proposed. The design of Soma Ránki, Ákos Sógor, and András Weiszkopf combined homogenous materials with structurally complex solutions that made the ruins visible from the outside. The plan received an honorable mention.

Young architects had the opportunity to propose designs on a site of historical importance to Hungary. The competition announced by the Hungarian Academy of Arts focused on the site of a medieval basilica, where several kings of the ancient House of Árpád are buried, including St. Stephen, founder of the Hungarian state.

With their design, Soma Ránki, Ákos Sógor, and András Weiszkopf seek a complex solution to architectural, historical, archeological and functional problems layered on this location. The imagined structure intends to fit in the urban environment that grew around the site throughout the ages, whilst creating a space for the remains of the medieval basilica.

Present condition: view from the Prefecture of the Bishop to the St. Stephen Mausoleum - architects: Soma Ránki, Ákos Sógor, András Weiszkopf - photo: András Weiszkopf


The possibilities are very restricted regarding the placement of foundations, the design of the floor plan follows the archeological guidelines. The scale of the grid is reminiscent of the late basilica, the vertical extent is in connection with the surrounding buildings. The terracotta-colored, reinforced concrete structure covers the entire site, allowing the ground level to be lowered and to reveal remains currently covered by soil. The entrance is in the acute-angled element of the structure, connecting the public space with the exhibition and archeological area. The relics are also visible from the outside along the facade.

The round-arched openings relate to the structures from the past and from the present, the geometry is transparent and without walls. The facades are closed with glass surfaces, protecting the remains from the weather. The materials are homogeneous throughout the structure, the facade, and the solid horizontal surfaces.



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