The Parish Church of Celestial Queen

The Parish Church of Celestial Queen

4 plusz építész stúdió kft as Architects

The Parish Church of Celestial Queen got its new place in an eclectic building at the Szent István square in Budapest. As a result of an agreement between the local government and the religious community, the Catholic parsonage has moved into the building formerly housing the Erkel Ferenc Music School. Little decoration remained from the former facade of the U-shaped building and the rooms were also waited for rescue. The basic scheme traditionally associated with the parsonage – the parson’s quarters and office, the classroom for religious education, the library, the banqueting hall and a spare apartment for visitors who stay here – are now housed in the existing main building featuring two lateral wings that face the yard.Our plan was to restore the original condition of the bulding according to old photos and to enclose the circulation system with a new, modern building wing. The gable-roofed new wing involves the multifunctional social spaces. The section of the assembly room on the upstairs invokes a traditional house form, while the plain, bright interior creates a contemporary sacred space.

As the new wing embodies the ambition of the Catholic Church to open up for the wider public, this configuration of turning the structures inward separates two yards of different characters. Both yard becomes elemetal part of the building. The ground-floor reception area connects the peaceful front and the built-around back yard by a wide-span bridging both visually and physically. The large expanses of glass exposes events taking place around the old tree standing in the centre of the garden so that they are visible even from the foyer. Communication between the old and the new is facilitated by understanding and following the logic of the existing house.

The wings are distinguished by its roof shapes and materials. The new wing’s light grey slate with white fiber cement cover fits the existant plaster surfices. The assembly room’s playful – actually hungarian embroidery pattern – perforated facade dissolves the symmetric composition and gives a facade an ever-changing view. Being a public, sacred building means having an effect on a community. It covers practicality, usability as well as the message of it in the surroundings. With the restoration of the old parts, the transparent new wing and its discreet colors and materials the Parish Church of Celestial Queen presents an inviting social and reverent space.

New home for the Parish Church of the Celestial Queen

Swisspearl - Building envelopes and living spaces as Facade panels

Located at the heart of the Hungarian capital, this former music school has been converted into a new home for the Parish Church of the Celestial Queen. The scheme involved a careful restoration of the dilapidated historical building, which now accommodates the traditional functions of the parsonage, such as the parson’s quarters, a classroom for religious education, the library, the banquet hall, and a visitor’s apartment. In addition, architects 4 plusz designed a new and decidedly modern structure that connects the two lateral wings of the existing U-shaped building and divides the garden space into two distinct courtyards. Fully glazed to either side, the transparent ground floor of the extension provides space for social events and opens a vista from the reception area to the rear garden.

Lending a unified appearance to the new structure, the architects clad the pitched roof, both external walls, and a number of perforated shutters in Swisspearl panels, choosing a light color scheme in keeping with the white stucco of the existing building. The upper level of the new wing holds a more enclosed and intimate assembly room shrouded

by punctured panel screens that can, in part, be opened. The extensive perforation pattern consists of numerous circular holes of varying diameter and mitigates the strict symmetry of the composition. Inspired by traditional Hungarian embroidery, the façade ornamentation evokes a sense of place and enhances the open and public nature of the new parsonage.

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