Three Eras of a Villa

The Reconstruction of the Synagogue in Thököly Road

Architect: Tamás Dévényi
Text: Rudolf Klein
Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

The synagogue in Thököly Road appears to be a unique building as it does not seem to be a synagogue, as opposed to the gorgeous Jewish temples built in the „golden era”: it has no spire, dome, or any Oriental architectural features either. It is a simple mansion in Zugló, which was originally defined by the window design of a Star of David facing the street, but it has been removed during the reconstruction project. This villa in Zugló, though, remains within the mainstream of synagogues: it shows a profane exterior. The designer architect of the reconstruction project, Tamás Dévényi had a great degree of liberty that he managed to make use of quite well. The former duality of the villa-synagogue has been replaced with a triple one: it is now a villa, a synagogue and a community centre. All of these three functions are legible on the facade. The most significant changes to the exterior affected the entrance opening into a court. Tamás Dévényi realized here one of the most original synagogue reconstructions of the 21st century in Central Europe: the 120-year-old building has been enriched with the attractive architectural features of a third dimension of time. Even after its reconstruction, the church has remained true to the tradition of intimate prayer houses lacking pompousness.

Architecture: Budapesti Műhely
Leading architect: Tamás Dévényi
Architect: Csaba Valkai
Fellow architects: Bea Polyák, Franciska Hutter, Viktória Wehner – Geon Kft.
Interiors: Tamás Dévényi
Structure: László Szőnyi– Geon Kft.
HVAC: Gábor Mihály Szigyártó – SMG-Sisu Hungary Kft.
Electrical engineering: Zsolt Aranyos – SMG-Sisu Hungary Kft.
Fire protection: Áron Kerényi