architecture : urban : visual culture

Laser Centre in Szeged

A research center was established in Szeged for studying the basic physical issues of the 21st century, and the elemental interaction of light and matter. The architect, Géza Szőkedencsi had to create a platform and an enduring place for research and inspiration. 

This project, which has extraordinary significance in the basic scientific research, required special architectural and engineering solutions. The architecture of the building designed by Géza Szőkedencsi and his team has an inspirational effect on the development of the district, both on the narrower and wider environment. Being a flagship of science, the complex is intended to provide an architectural space that satisfies all needs and offers a research environment that encourages innovation and creativity. 

The goal was to create a worldwide primary research basis for a state-of-the-art technology that had never existed before, using cutting-edge construction technology. The ELI-ALPS laser center is located on the outskirts of the city, near the buildings of abandoned former Soviet barracks – which, according to the plans, will be integrated into the science park in the future.

The building complex’s units of different functions are well separated, yet they are organically connected in a logical order. The surroundings provide everything at today's standards: car park with trees, bicycle paths, promenades, bicycle storage, rest areas, water surfaces, fountains. The reception building is the symbolic "brain" with its transparent appearance, the logo in front of the main entrance, the pleasantly shocking spatial experience of the lobby and an architecture with state-of-the-art technology. The orange-red building of the central lobby [the brain] is the well-known but here clearly symbolic form of the "house in the house" principle.

There are comfortable rest areas placed in the different circulation spaces and galleries. Inspiring visual elements in the interior are an impressive spiral staircase in a colorless environment, printed glass pictures of famous scientists on the staircase walls, glass-concrete sliding door, hanged-sandblasted glass. The scene of the various laser equipment is again a room in the room. In the operating areas there are structural solutions with hyper-expansion joints, super air purity, and special humidity conditions.

Géza Szőkedencsi



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