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  • Tidying up with Care

    Renovation of Franciscan Monastery, Szolnok

    Architects: Árpád Álmosdi, Monika Csendes
    Text: Nóra Ostoróczky
    Photos: Ártér Architects

    Franciscan monks arrived in Szolnok in 1686, and in 1718 they built their very first church on the site of the present-day monastery, with a thatched roof and adobe. The Franciscans commissioned master builder Joannes Babtista Carlone (1682–1747) from Eger to build the monastery and the church. Construction was carried out in several stages. As the capstone above the main entrance to the parish attests, the building was completed in 1752. At the same time the church was built next to the monastery. Over the centuries, the house has been transformed several times, and the monastery has also taken on the role of the parish. After the Franciscans, the house became the property of the Diocese of Vác and is currently used as a parish, for religious education and, after a tender for the renovation, for tourist purposes, for accommodation. The restored cloisters have been cleared of the layers that have accumulated over the centuries and are now designed in line with modern regulations, making this the most functional part. Accessibility considerations required the construction of a new staircase and a lift. A sense of order is enhanced by the homogenuous white interior, punctuated by light smoke-grey coloured doors. Because of a series of under-lit vaults and the slightly uneven surface of the walls the passage of time is almost tactile. On the puritan façade, the different textures of the plasterwork draw window and door frames and thin horizontal lines. The new greyish-greenish windows are set in these frames, creating a unified impression.

    Client: Archbishopry of Vác
    General planning: ÁRTÉR Architects
    Leading architects: Monika Csendes, Árpád Álmosdi
    Architects: Gabriella Szabó, Anna Balogh Tóth
    Structure: Hirös Modul Ltd.
    HVAC: Flexicontroll Ltd.
    Electrical engineering: Rekonterv Ltd.
    Monument history expert: Adrienn Csák
    Technical supervisor: Éva Ádovics – OPTISOL Engineering
    Monument history documentation: Gábor Dombi
    Contractors: BRAVO-VILL 13 Ltd., Art Home Electro Ltd.