Opening the Space

The New Parsonage, Parish Church of the Celestial Queen, Újpest

Architect: Zoltán Berzsák
Text: Anna Losonczy
Photos: József Hajdú

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The architecture of St Stephen’s Square in Újpest was originally defined by the massive structures of the parish church and the mayor’s office block. As a result of an agreement between the local government and the religious community, the Catholic parsonage has moved into the building formerly housing the music school. The basic scheme traditionally associated with the parsonage – the parson’s quarters and office, the classroom for religious education, the library, the banqueting hall and a spare apartment for visitors who stay here – are now housed in the existing main building featuring two lateral wings that face the yard. As the designer solved the issues related to the internal communication of the open-passage wrap-around gallery house with a two-level tie and a wind-breaker door behind the main gate, the individual wings are accessible via the foyer thus created. As the new wing embodies the ambition of the Catholic Church to open up for the wider public, this configuration of turning the structures inward separates two yards of different characters. The ground-floor reception area connects the peaceful front and the built-around back yard by a wide-span bridging both visually and physically. The large expanses of glass exposes events taking place around the old tree standing in the centre of the garden so that they are visible even from the foyer. Communication between the old and the new is facilitated by understanding and following the logic of the existing house.

Architecture: 4 plusz Építész Stúdió Kft.
Leading architect: Zoltán Berzsák
Fellow architects: Katalin Konyha, Andrea Stanisewszki
Structure: Terraplan 97 Kft.
HVAC: Kristály Klíma Plusz Kft.
Electrical engineering: Studio NG Bt.
Fire protection: Tűz és Lélek Bt.
Landscape: Open Air Design Kft.
Project management: Újpesti Vagyonkezelő Zrt.
Main contractor: Kharisz Kft.
Client: Budapest Főváros IV. kerület, Újpest Önkormányzata