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  • A Well-Deserved Place

    Visitors’ Centre and Ecclesiastic Collection Store, Székesfehérvár

    Architect: Robert Gutowski
    Text: Tamás Kiss
    Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

    Walking the streets of the former coronation town, Székesfehérvár one can actually feel its history. This rich fabric has been added a more recent layer: next to the gardens of the Episcopal Palace there is now the Visitors’ Centre of Székesfehérvár Ecclesiastic County along the walls of the former castle walls in Lakatos Street. Its inauguration also meant the creation of a station of the thematic 7-station pilgrimage route between Vértessomló, Bodajk and Székesfehérvár, which also functions as a kind of a centre now. This visitors’ centre is an organic part of this urban-scale development whilst providing a smooth and lightweight link between the developments of various characters in the area. The layout of the openings of the building is a symbolic wink between the gestures of historic periods: the ground-floor has a retracted entrance facade in contemporary design above which the masonry surface is pierced through by two openings with an almost anthropomorphic effect. The lace-like spot created by pulling apart the bricks on the end wall of the building is an exciting solution: as if the angel floating above the top of the pylon would have arrived through this lacey curtain. One of the merits of the house is the consciously overtaken heritage and the layers discovered meanwhile have not turned into unwillingly tolerated historic additions but form an organic part of the building and cooperate with a new architectural layer to create values and show mutual respect.

    Client: Székesfehérvár Diocese
    Leading architect: Robert Gutowski – Robert Gutowski Architects
    Architects: Barnabás Dely-Steindl, Hunor László Kovács, Béla Ákos Szokolay, Gáspár Bollók, Csongor Mizser
    Framework: Horváth Sándor, Tombi Gergely
    Monument history expert: György Bartos
    Archaeology: Zsuzsa Pető
    Garden: Zsombor Balogh
    Structure: Dezső Hegyi, Kata Gász, Tamás Ther
    HVAC: László Lakner
    Electrical engineering: Ádám Turi, Sándor Csia, Gyula Kerek
    Fire protection: Mikus Ferenc, Bertók Szablocs
    Project management: Ildikó Csiszérné Halász, Kristóf Kriston, Róbert Kozma – Equinox Ltd
    Main contractor: Lőrinczi Építő Ltd
    Technical supervisor: Ferenc Sárkány