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  • A Site Consecrated by the Congregation

    Calvinist Church and Congregation Centre on Svábhegy

    Architects: Zoltán Szécsi, Lajos Ónodi Szabó
    Text: István Bartók
    Photos: József Hajdú

    It has appeared at the end of the 20th century, and even more so in the early 21st century, that a church is not the home of God any more, but that of the community. The congregation is the people of the Lord’s house, and they do not get together for their own sake, but around the Lord’s table. The Calvinist church on Svábhegy strongly reflects what moves it towards unity and integrity by the block-like structuring obvious here and there, the dominance of the cylindrical mass and the materials used almost homogeneously. Whatever moves it towards fractures, and whatever is layered on it as formal reference in a speculative way is questionable. The integrated appearance that basically shows closedness outward is beautiful indeed, reflected in details such as the yard functioning as the place of entrance defined by the two buildings and a giant oak tree. People arriving here are welcome by the spire and the congregation spaces with a subdivided pitched roof that also conceals the retracted church space. Placed out to the corner, the tower has been pulled away from the cylindrical body of the church structure and it creates a strong emphasis, which still marks an entrance by following the traditions of another era. Regarding its spatial organisation, the cylindrical body of the church is completed with two cross-wings with smaller and different interior heights as a result of central and longitudinal organisation. Viewed from a distance, the parsonage nicely completes the mass of the church-congregation house. On closer inspection, however, when viewed from the yard the church-congregation house on the opposite side appears a serious two-storey building which is slightly exaggerated as opposed to the block shrinking into a single-storey structure on the northern side.

    Leading architects: Zoltán Szécsi, Lajos Ónodi Szabó
    Fellow architects: Péter Jakus, Gergely Sámsondi Kis, Piros Fáy, Zoltán Csibi (2001); Ákos Szák-Kocsis, Gergely Tóth (2014)
    Structure: Imre Szabó, Ferenc Pap
    Electrical engineering: Jánosné Makó
    HVAC: Géza Zsoldos, Gábor Vincze
    Garden design: Edina Sylvester, Judit Neogrády
    Roads: Zoltán Horváth
    Interiors: Lilla Mikus
    Main contractor: Poncz Kft., TÉR Kft. Mozaik Kft.
    Client: Budahegyvidéki Református Egyházközség, István Szabó bishop (2001); Svábhegyi Református Gyülekezet, Zsolt Berta pastor (2014)