Holocaust Documentation Center
Mányi István, Gáti Attila
Mányi István Építész Stúdió Kft.
1094 Budapest, Páva utca 39.
Budapest Award of Architectural Excellence, medal and award certificate, 2004
The complex consists of the renovated historic building of the Synagogue, the new museum wing with roof-top gardens and the office building of the Documentation Center. New parts of the ensemble were organized around the existing house of prayer, designed in 1923 by Lipót Baumhorn in an Eclecticizing style. The complex, by using fine architectural solutions, blends harmoniously into the mixed architectural environment of the local residential block rehabilitation, and at the same time fits well with the Synagogue building.
The noble use of Indian stone cladding is unprecedented in this place, yet it is a good choice of material, giving the buildings a dignified look. The roof gardens have found their place well in this context and are in almost picturesque contrast with the firewalls and façades of the surrounding dilapidated residential buildings. The new wings clearly show professional work in the noble sense of the word: the details are correctly solved, from the glass-door-elevator to the wooden door and the glazed opening in the corridor. Also, the contractor has worked at a high level. However, there is some tension between the existing Synagogue and the new building complex: the architectural message of the former's painted-decorated, plastered design, and the simple but differentiated spatial system seems more honest than the gesture system of the new buildings that sometimes seems artificial. The exhibition in the attached building part deserves special mention. The exhibition material, created with sophisticated interior design elements, really "takes the visitor into the deep" and confronts him/her with what happened. This direct mode of communication is associated with the architectural environment, the design tools of which convey the message of tombstone architecture, or the "pain encased in stone".
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