architecture : urban : visual culture

The substance of simplicity

Anna Meadow has been and remains to this day a popular spot for Budapest hikers.Thanks to the municipality’s rehabilitation and development activities, the number of hikers, nature-lovers, and athletes who visit this already popular area has continued to grow. 

 

Looking back on its history, it becomes clear that outings to the Meadow are not a recent phenomenon: traditions date back to the 18th century. It was a frequented destination on holidays and, also owing to the St. Anne’s Chapel that was built here, it grew in prominence as a hiking destination.


Although the demolition of the formerly prominent and historically significant St. Anne’s Chapel and the failure to complete the Chapel for the Placation of Mary, Queen of the World had a temporary negative effect on the area, these setbacks were not able to overcome the love people have for it. Thanks to the changes that took place after the 1990s, it again became possible to reinstate the dignity of the formerly sacral location.

 

1.The planning program regarding the development of a location for holding masses


• holding regular ceremonies with a small number of participants,
• use as a destination and a place for rest for pilgrimages from Mariazell to Șumuleu Ciuc (Csíksomlyó) and from Częstochowa to Međugorje that pass through Anna Meadow,
• use as a location of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress,
• and developing an area suitable for open-air celebrations involving larger numbers of people on church holidays. All this should be implemented
in a manner that ensures that the above events do not interfere with the popular sports venues on Anna Meadow so they continue operations uninterrupted.

 


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda

 

When selecting the location, one of the main aspects we took into account was that it should be suitable for holding small, medium, and large events.We also considered it important to maintain respect for the formerly sacral location and to preserve its memory.

We found that the environment of the chapel, rebuilt on the site of the former St. Anne’s Chapel by the Salamin family, and the microenvironment of the nearby grove, housing the foundation of the Chapel for the Placation of Mary, Queen of the World, is not suitable for creating an open-air location for celebrating mass and filling this new complex role. A better solution would be to have the celebrations at a location more isolated from sports and hiking traffic.


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda



Based on the above, we designated a new location at the bottom of the clearing accessible from Anna Meadow instead of the previously consecrated sacral locations. In our opinion, the area delineated by the above three sacral locations could be suitable for holding both large and small ecclesiastical celebrations without any negative effects on the recreational activities on Anna Meadow (hiking, resting, sports), and would rather serve to increase the richness of the area.

The area bounded by the three sacral points can even be considered an open-air church. St. Anne Chapel’s and its environment is the entryway and garden used for gathering for liturgical events. The space bounded by the grove can be considered the main entrance to the church and can be used for meditation when no celebrations are taking place. The chapel and the location for masses at the end of the clearing is home to the altar.

The clearing is the open-air liturgical area that can be used to accommodate churchgoers in line with the size and type of the liturgy. By using temporary installations, we believe that the above solution can be used to provide an environment for all of the events indicated in the tender and for holding the sacral liturgies in line with their solemnity.


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda

 

2. Developing the images of the various sacral locations.


I.

We feel that the destruction of the former sacral buildings and the failure to build the Chapel for the Placation of Mary, Queen of the World is not a defeat, but rather intend to involve the reconstruction of St. Anne’s Chapel and the strengthening of the remains of the former construction site of the Placation Chapel in the new sacral environment.

By putting the environment of St. Anne’s Chapel in order, we would like to include it in the group of buildings as the front garden and “antechamber” of the location for celebrating mass. The main direction for approaching the location is via the straight pathway leading from the road located to the west. However, access is also possible by means of the hiking trails and the surrounding green areas. We consider it necessary to pave the area around the rebuilt chapel. The paved area would lead up to the Chapel, providing a separate location for remembrance and for placing flowers.

We recommend that the previously donated commemorative stones be placed along the edge of the pavement around the chapel, which ensures that the memories of these noble benefactors are preserved.

A presentation of the historical sacral past with detailed information is also recommended in the area around the Chapel.

The current destination next to it can be used for welcoming pilgrims and churchgoers to provide meals.

By keeping the hiking trails with some minor modifications, the meditation venue separate from Anna Meadow and the chapel for holding masses located in the grove of beech trees under the Chapel can be directly accessed from the meeting point.


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda

 

II.

Meditation grove. The area previously set aside for the construction of the Chapel for Placation delineated by 6 planted trees is intended to be developed into a grove for meditation which will also serve as the entranceway to the forest clearing used as an “open-air liturgical area.”

We recommend planting a field of flowers with a clearly marked border in the area between the trees, which will also house a cross on the west side.

Benches and the donation stones found here can be placed along both sides of the trees and flowers.

We feel that the best place for the plaque commemorating the laying of the foundation in 1944 is behind the cross.

The area between the trees, accessible via a couple of steps leading from the hiking trail, provides an opportunity for visitors to reflect on the ways of the world and for resting their souls.

The new mass location can be accessed from the meditation grove by passing through the liturgical clearing.

 

III.

We recommend placing the new location for celebrating mass at the end of the clearing bounded by the forest stretching in an east-west direction, at the top of an eastern slope.
The general public can reach the location via a walkway from St. Anne’s Chapel and from the meditation grove located opposite.
Ecclesiastical personages are provided access via the road leading to St. Anne’s Chapel from the main road.
We would construct the chapel built for holding mass on the peak rising at the end of the clearing. Behind it are the stairs that ecclesiastical personages can take to reach the chapel.
The overall dimensions of the chapel are 11.2 m x 7.00 m, which opens in the direction of the clearing by way of full-width doors. The altar stone is located in the middle of the area for holding mass, with benches along both sides and chairs behind the altar.

We have placed a dividing wall behind the altar to house the items and equipment necessary for celebrations (e.g. the controls for the amplification and lighting will also be located here).

We have placed a wall of remembrance next to the Chapel to house the names of pilgrims and benefactors.
This area would also house the bell owned by the Association for the Placation Movement.

The number of seats and benches necessary for the expected number of people attending mass and the required outdoor installations would be placed in the area before the chapel.

We imagine the Chapel would have to be fully lockable for reasons of both property protection and to preserve the dignity of the location. This is also justified by the fact that it also serves to house the outdoor installations and equipment, as the planning program indicates the Vasas Ski House as the background institution.

The Chapel faces East, is built along an east-west axis, and opens to the clearing via a gate.

 


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda

 

3. Compliance with the ecological features of integration into the laddscape.

We have developed our plan fully in line with the natural features of the existing landscape and the area’s topography.

We recommend that the new location for celebrating masses be integrated with the current traditional locations.

The planned building does not place an ecological burden on the environment either by its construction or by its subsequent operations.


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda

 

4. Our architectural solutions intend to put the previously two sacral locations in order with the use of a minimal number of technical interventions, meaning no damages will be caused to the extant foliage and the subsequent functions will not cause any such burden, either.

The measures are of a horticultural nature and involve the installation of street furniture. New paved surfaces and the pathways of the modified trails will be provided with stabilised gravel and Corten steel edging similarly to the solutions used in the renovation of Normafa.

As regards the architecture of the mass area and the remembrance location, we aimed to develop a contemporary sacral building and inner space that would be fully connected to its surroundings when opened. Its façade clearly indicates its sacral function. No landscaping measures are planned to change the current environment and its plants.

Artificial planting will take place in the planned flower bed and in small areas at prominent locations. At the clearing kept for receiving the public (the “open-air liturgical area”), we consider it necessary to manage, cut, and water (as required) the existing grass while maintaining the natural flora in its direct vicinity. Trees in important locations should be maintained and groomed.

We recommend that the walkways, area in front of the building, and the garden steps developed on slopes be covered with precast concrete elements in the form of stepping stones sunk into the ground. Any sharp boundaries between artificially managed areas and the natural environment should be avoided, instead using organic transitions.


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda

 

5. Materials, ecological solutions, aesthetics, durability, resistance.


As for the architectural design of the building planned for the new location for celebrating masses we strove for simplicity, moderate shaping in terms of the structural design and material use, as well as solutions relative to the contemporary architectural practices.

- The exterior roof and side wall surfaces of the Chapel will be made with folded sheet metal cover –e.g. PREFA - in graphite grey colour.

- Concrete surface on the inner side of the antechamber will be made with a rough and raw natural concrete surface and planked shuttering.

- The accordion gate of the chapel opens with a bespoke steel support structure, with an outer-inner natural larch board, just like the side entrance.

The surface is equipped with a high-pressure treated, impregnated wood with UV protection.

- The supporting surface of the glass surfaces is a unique steel structure with larch cover, with the very same surface treatment as mentioned above.

- Outdoor steel structures are powder-coated after galvanising.

- Outdoor floor coverings, pavements, precast concrete slabs embedded in green surfaces.

- The covering edges are made of Corten steel.

- As regards the interior space, the sidewall and sloping surfaces will be covered with natural cured larch (Larix)

-Floor covering with polished concrete surface.

- Mass altar in matt-polished half marble slabs and blocks (from Siklós-Tardospiszke)

- The materials for the previous antechambers are the same as those used in the outdoor location for celebrating masses and at the memorial site

Similarly to the mass formation, we intended to create simple, bonded surfaces with the use of quality materials.
We wanted to create a worthy aesthetic appearance with the shape that suits the function, as well as the façade design and the use of materials in line with the task.


Anna meadow – a location for celebrating masses, a memorial site in District XII of the Capital of Budapest, Architect: Wéber Építésziroda


The materials used require no or minimal maintenance for subsequent use.
In the case of utilities, besides the electrical power supply, no other utility connection is required for operation, the water supply for basic comfort can be solved by mobile equipment. The electrical power supply should also include outdoor lighting, occasional effect lighting and sound/public address facilities. For very large occasional events, the use of a projector may also be necessary.

6. Feasibility, economy, compliance with specifications.

The designed solutions can be implemented by simple technical procedures and tools without the need for special procedures and techniques.
Based on the above, considering the quality standard for durability, the designed solutions can be considered economical.
In our application we considered earlier sacred places and made efforts to meet the requirements of the invitation.

 

 

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