The ’Seed’ of Budakalász
A church from around the 11-12th century has stood on the Kálvária hill and looked over the town of Budakalász for centuries. The hill and the church stood in the center of the town and have shaped its history and its road network. However, the church has perished and all written evidences and memories have been lost of it, except a few street names that might have suggested that a church or castle has stood on the hill.
Around 2010, local archeologists, together with the local community have found the ruins of the church several meters underground. Proving that the legends of the church standing on the hill have been true. The town of Budakalász decided to host an architectural design competition in 2018, in order to find a solution to reconstruct the memory of the church, and to reconnect it with the town.
The reflection of the church
The concept of the design was to have a reconstruction of the church that has the same external dimensions as the original church, however does not try to reconstruct it in its original form; rather it is a shadow or a reflection of the original that only shows its self from certain views or angles.
The design of the ‘reconstruction’ is to have adjacent reflective vertical stainless steel sheets, in the shape of the old church building, to resemble the shape of the original church. This way from certain angles you can see through the structure, as it was invisible, while from other angles the entire shape of the church comes alive, from some angles it reflects the clouds and the sky. This helps visitors visualize the shape and scale of the original church and understand its history.
This conceptual design helps to reconnect the town with its history and church. While traveling through the roads of the town and around the hill, the shape of the church appears and disappears as the traveler moves along. During the night, the sides of the stainless steel sheets are light, so it is only visible from the sides. The structure can be a vertical symbol of the town. The interior of the church is also resembled and can be used for masses, exhibitions weddings and other events.
A small café/ restaurant has been designed next to the church in to the hillside, to provide catering and other facilities for events and exhibitions. The café is hidden in the hillside, so that it is not visible from the town below, neither from the park while approaching the church. The dimensions of the café very minimal, however it can later be extended with kitchen or exhibition space, if needed.