SZEKESFEHERVAR MEMORIAL PLACE
architecture: Sándor Dúzs /ArkTOON Architects, Jozsef Scön / Schön Architects, Tamás Havasi, Kata Heigl, Gábor Szakonyi
The easiest way to understand our architectural attitude is to read the hymns quoted below:
Rejoice royal city Székesfehérvár very much,
The real trone of this great King is in you.
For thou, O LORD, art his glorious corpse: thou art his glorious city: blessed art thou;
(13th century church song in Fehérvár)
During the design process we believed that framework of commemoration should be created, which is a limited but not closed space. It is not just covering an excavation, it is more than an archaeological presentation. By embracing and preserving centuries-old historical relics, provide a clean environment to pay homage to the greats of the past, give free insight into the past (even to those who don’t pay a museum ticket), and provide a breathtaking community experience for all of us. Following this spiritual conception, we have created a structure reminiscent of the scale of the impressive and authoritative building of the former cathedral, to tame and reflect on the man passing through the square in this age of denial and rush. With its sights and eye-catching dimensions, we attract to the sacred memorial a place that seeks its past and connects it with its future. Not to be forgotten by the Hungarians, and to confirm in the public consciousness that the coronation square has been the most important political and religious center of Hungary for about six centuries, attracting tens of thousands of the masses. The place of remembrance is not created by us, as it has been living here for a millennium, but it is molded to regain its proper dignity. We need an experience that is similar to that of our ancestors. In order not only to face the destruction, to stand with regret at the tomb of Stephen, to repent of our glorious past, but also to call back the uplifting spirit of the great moments with the help of the uplifting feeling of catharsis. Design concept In our concept, the ruins and archeological excavations and the existing entire ruin level were covered with a glass walking surface (with the exception of the tomb of St. Stephen, above which we did not allow traffic). Covering the entire mass ensures the protection of the tomb. In the plane of the glass, the floor plan of the glorious buildings of the past ages is engraved on the floor of the square, and a cathedral-scale space is delimited by an aerial glass box hanging from a frame. A sacred cross, the primary symbol of the Christian religious spirit, was placed in the focal point of the reconstructed sanctuary of the ruins of Matthias. The color of the puritan-looking steel cross is accentuated by the green of the park. The power and radiance of this symbol restore the balance of the space in contrast to the grandiose building and the tomb of St. Stephen, highlighted by the emphasis and opening underneath. The edifice spans a space to give space back to society. It does not do this for itself, so it does not compete with any historical building or form that is simple and regular in shape. The edifice gives the memorial a scale.