Budapest Legend
Budapesti kortárs építészet térképen
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János Kálvin Retirement Home
Kálmán Ernő
Reálterv Építésziroda Kft.
Designed in
Built in
1125 Budapest, Nógrádi út 12–14.
Budapest Award of Architectural Excellence, medal and award certificate, 2005
The siting of the ensemble is a perfect hit: the U-shaped block, placed in a terraced way onto a sloping plot with city-view, carries the features of "hanging gardens" and "natural gardens" at the same time. The two apartment buildings, which include one- and two-room units, are both ideally connected to the garden and face the city panorama. At the same time, from the Nógrádi utca side, the block of the chapel with the main entrance provides the retirement home with the character of a public building.
Thanks to the fine articulation of the exposed brick, the overall effect is a human-scale look preserving traditions. Serene, open architecture connects the lives of the elderly (who are locked up for eight months of the year in the cooler climate of the mountain) to the landscape and the city, but the real feat is in the quasi-public design of the interiors. Enclosed corridors and communal spaces are able to serve the purpose defined by the architect: "The institution is primarily home to retirees who can take care of themselves but want to live in the community." The character of the interiors evokes the atmosphere of urban public spaces. The elderly, who are increasingly isolated from the outside world almost irrespective of the season, now find themselves in an almost public-style, brick-cladded, wood-covered, sometimes zigzagged pedestrian area. They can enjoy the illusion formed with empathic creative intent, which let them believe that their ever-shrinking world still has the variety of “outside and inside”. Contemporary architecture recreating traditions is not just a superficial gesture here: the fusion of the founder-operator’s ars poetica and the architectural design can be clearly felt. The architects have implemented a detailed, warm interior and furnishings that could launch a new era of the “nursing home” function.
Häider Andrea, Bujnovszky Tamás
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