By rearranging the narrow green area between St Imre High School and the adjoining church into a two-floor establishment the parish could gain valuable community space. The concept preserves the park atmosphere and remains ideal to congregate around the church. The sunken courtyard and stairs provide further community areas on a new level.
The first design concepts of the building complex for the Cistercian Order near the foot of Gellért Hill were started by architect Gyula Wälder in the 1920’s. According to the original plans there would have been a highschool, a church and a monastery next to each other. It would have been a representative neo-baroque building complex connected by colonnades. In 1927 the school was built and 10 years later the three aisled, reinforced concrete church was also completed but due to the 2nd World War and the communist rule the monastery building was never constructed. Instead, a Marxism-Leninism Evening University was built on the location in 1970 – which now is Edutus University. The convent is housed by the nearby villa building in 9 Himfy street. This is also where the parish offices and the community hall are.
Thriving community life has increased demands for a new community centre. The empty plot area between the church and the school has been used for open air programmes for a while. The longish space is particularly intriguing as the stairs of Balogh slope start here towards Gellért Hill.
Our studio plans to turn the area into a two-storey community area by placing community functions below the ground level. Our concept keeps the level of the of the existing area and turns it into a park with a pavement attached to the side entrance of the church. The new building is under the park level connecting to it with stairs from two directions. Arriving from the direction of Villányi street a wide set of stairs lead us to a divisible auditorium below the ground level. The smaller rooms designed for afternoon programs, the financial and parish offices and the archives office are grouped around a spacious sunken courtyard that is linked with another set of stairs to the park above. The auditorium opens to the court with a huge glass wall. By connecting the spaces even bigger events can be hosted here. In the building, below ground level there is a wide range of service facilities too.