New campus of Vilmos Apor Catholic College
The new campus of Vilmos Apor Catholic College and
the Roman Catholic Vilmos Apor Chapel in Budapest
The Vilmos Apor Catholic College has commissioned Jahoda & Páricsy Architects in February 2015 to design their new Budapest campus.
The property is located in Pesterzsébet, district 20 of Budapest administratively on Flóris Török street, practically on the Patrona Hungariae square. The building is the most important volume along the north-eastern edge of the square and the only public building along the square except for the roman catholic church in the middle of the square.
The former primary school was built in two phases at the end of the 1920s and during the late 1950s. It was operational until 1993 when it became redundant and was vacant until 2014 when it was purchased by Vilmos Apor Catholic College with the intention to convert the building to support its college, lifelong learning and distance education courses. Besides the education functions, the building serves as accommodation for professors and students, has a full service canteen and a chapel as well. The space is centred around a new aula that links the various parts of the building and is the main community area as well.
The character of the main street façade was preserved thus the building is a compilation of the architectural style of the early 20th and a more contemporary architectural language.
For the architects sustainability and economic efficiency were important which was reflected in the choice of materials, the high level of passive heat insulation, the orientation of the functions and the application of green building solutions (e.g. heat recovery ventilation).
The chapel dedicated to the Blessed Vilmos Apor bishop (Hungarian martyr in the 20th century) is located on the ground floor facing the backyard.
As one approaches the building from the main entrance the chapel’s tempered glass door immediately catches attention. The monochrome interior with the simple benches attached to the wall representing the stations of the cross – only signalled by roman numbers carved on the wall – strikes with its simplicity and intimacy. The apsis is decorated with nonfigurative artwork of Zoltán Tölg-Molnár. On one of the walls the motto of the Blessed Vilmos Apor reads: “the cross gives strength to the weak and tames the strong.”