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  • The Space of Emptiness

    The Sanctuary of the Basilica in Pannonhalma

    Architects: Katalin Csillag, Zsolt Gunther
    Text: Vilmos Katona
    Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky


    Having undergone a longish transformation, the basilica of Pannonhalma opened its gates three years ago to the public. The transformation in itself in a purist way returned to the layered medieval frame which has come to the surface in its aesthetics though, functionally only loosely associated to the way of thinking underlying the building of basilicas for centuries. The now opened, reformed sanctuary has a system of objects which moved towards abstraction as a result of the reconstruction project. The metaphysical space is empty because it does not lead us into the physical sphere of here and now, but the geometric domain of abstract timelessness. In the minimalist reinterpretation the altar seated in the spiritual and geometrical centre of the hall has been left all on its own: standing in the middle, it has evolved into the meeting point of God and human beings. This simplest interpretation of the narrative of space here has thus unfolded out of the most complex layers.

    Leading architect: John Pawson
    Architects: Katalin Csillag, Zsolt Gunther
    Fellow architect: Anna Sára Kiss
    Fellow architects: Stefan Dold, Nóra Szüts