architecture : urban : visual culture

Scientific fortress - Szigetköz Research Center, Mosonmagyaróvár

The West-Hungarian University is Europe's first higher educational institute in agriculture, which was established in the building of the castle of Mosonmagyaróvár in 1818, after the Napoleonic Wars. The university wanted to fulfill the growing functional demands with the refurbishment of a farm building, and at the same time aimed to present itself for the public and the visitors as much as possible. The architectural program of the design was prepared under the direction of Péter Lenzsér and Cicelle Gaul; and it contained the formation of a space structure necessary for an accredited water quality laboratory and also for the research, presentation and education of the waters, flora, fauna and society of Szigetköz in a way open for the public too. While the first function needs a closed, sterile technological environment, the second one is an open, easily perspicuous public circulation area. To the end of the tree allee the architects placed a building mass in cross direction and in this way they created transition between the canteen and the arboretum while still closed the not too attractive view of the back courtyard from the visitors. In order to harmonized the existing mass to the level of the arboretum they dismantled part of it in a staggered way. The architects aimed a moderate, pure use of materials, and as far as their concept considers the building as part of the park, they hope the vegetation will assimilate the artificial establishment and overgrow it by time.

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