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  • Pure Brick, Spiritual House

    Calvinist Church and Congregation House, Miskolc-Avas

    Architects: Éva Magyari, Béla Pazár
    Text: Károly Zsolt Nagy
    Photos: Tamás Szántó

    Miskolc is a city playing a key role in the life of the Hungarian Calvinist community. Destroyed by bombs during World War II, it was rebuilt from ruins into an industrial centre, which was exemplary during the Socialist era. As one of the most extensive projects of this period, the housing estate in Avas was built between 1973 and 1985. The development of the historical vineyards was also a symbolic act of the extension of the socialist regime, and it was obvious that there would be no room left for sacred buildings in this independently developed city quarters with a full infrastructure. The turn of the millennia saw the growth of an independent, modest-size congregation of the housing estate self-organizing itself as a core. The members of this community had the desire to have their own spiritual home, which was realized by Éva Magyari and Béla Pazár who designed a single building integrating a church, a vicarage and several community spaces of a variety of functions. Designers came up with a building of human scales and proportions, and is also easy to love. Against the uniform design of the densely placed grey prefab housing estate, this red brick building marks the striking contrast in this profane context: it represents the significance of of the sacred qualities, which is still deeply embedded in its environment. Its simple, rectangular vocabulary of forms, The rhythm of its simple rectangular forms and brick architecture communicates with the angular character and the rhythm of the prefab panels. The use of architecture is also a symbol: on the one side, it tends to show how members of the congregation themselves evolve into spiritual house as if they were live construction stones, on the other hand, they also reflect to the past, the history, the growth and the evolution of the community concerned.

    Client: Avas Dél Lakótelepi Református Egyházközség, Miskolc
    Leading architects: Éva Magyari, Béla Pazár – MNDP Kft.
    Architects: Tibor Bodnár, Gergely Patak – MNDP Kft.
    Structure: Zoltán Bencze – Céh Zrt.
    HVAC: András Oltvai – Oltvai Gépész Stúdió
    Electrical engineering: Attila Szilágyi
    Public utilities: György Márkus
    Main contractor: Jánosik és Társai Kft.