OCTOGON 2015/07

Protestant Harmony

In 2012, the Hungarian Evangelical Church invited a number of selected architecture firms to take part in the competition for the modernisation and extension of the Sarepta Evangelical Institution for the disabled, along with designing its new residential building. The professional jury has chosen the proposal of the winner of the Ybl Award, András Krizsán (DLA). After the permission of plans - as the result of a lucky turn of events - the Church was able to purchase an extra plot for the new building on Máriaremetei Road, not far from the original location of the Institution. This has created the possibility of building two buildings with the division of latter site.

András Krizsán has managed to adopt his ideas successfully to the new site, and excelled in altering the contemporary mass of the building to the surrounding family homes. He had designed a two-storey and basement residential block to fit its 50 disabled future residents’ needs.

On the two upper storeys of the H-shaped building are separate areas each for 12-13 residents, which all act as independent living blocks. The majority of bedrooms are single, but there are double bedrooms as well. The areas are also each equipped with bathrooms, a kitchen, and a common room that also doubles as a dining area. The middle part of the building - located between the two longer wings - houses the service rooms, including first-aid rooms, rooms for the nurses, storage spaces for wheelchairs, laundries, and diaper storages. Natural light and fresh air in the basement is provided by light- and air-tunnels. This is where spaces for the staff are placed (changing rooms, showers, rooms for resting), along with a kitchen. There is also a lift, as the whole building was designed to be wheelchair-accessible.

The structure takes advantage of the possibilities provided by the sloping site, therefore there is a connection to the outside not only on the ground-, but on the first floor as well. The two wings oriented towards the hillside surround a courtyard, where different community events can take place.

The building has a rational floorpan based on puritanism, simplicity, and high-standard contemporary architecture. The white facades are broken by slightly angled panes, an analogy also present at the top of the building, where the small walls around the edges of the flat roof, angled in a triangular shape, enhance the impression of hight. Instead of arranging the windows according to an even rhythm, as the interior rooms are positioned, the architect decided to make them irregular in orientation and placement. They are sometimes framed by a dark grey boarder, blurring the characteristics of the facade. The “fifth facade”, the green roof heightens the natural qualities of the surrounding area, as well as the comfort of residents.

We are talking about discreet aesthetic solutions, and their use seems fitting. The puritan, yet versatile appearance of the building helps it merge with the surrounding hillside, streets and family houses.
 
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