Conversion of the Ligeti Studio, Budapest, HU

Function: Cultural
Country: Hungary
Category: Recollective Architecture
Firm: monoSTUDIO
Architects: Gábor Zombor DLA, Balázs Juhász, Zsolt Csík, Áron Lality, Zoltán Zsupos
Completion of design: 2017
Year completed: 2019
Nominated by: László Kalmár
During the work won in the design competition, the architect team kept in mind the delicate gestures of the original architects. The structure of the listed building has been preserved and its internal spatial system has been changed in a straightforward but gentle way, without archaising. Thus, the dramaturgy of the spaces is generous, the atmosphere remains intact, and the upstairs extension reinterprets the system. The fresh breeze of historic and contemporary architecture appears in the spaces at the same time.
Project Description

The Ligeti House and Studio was built in 1905 by the design of architects Zoltán Bálint and Lajos Jámbor. The house and studio of sculptor Miklós Ligeti was purchased by the Foundation for a Civic Hungary in 2016. By renovating the house, preserving its character and architectural values, and using it as the headquarters, the Foundation’s aim was to protect our national heritage and to create new values. Considering the values of the building related to the construction period and the location – which are independent of its special monument protection status – our primary goal was creation by preservation. We intended to keep the character, architectural values, spatial system, and distinctive elements of the building, in particular, to accentuate the atmosphere and emphases of the original builder’s intention palpable even today, to turn the cohesion of past and present into a living unit through an extension that fits best for the building’s intended use. It was important for us – and at the same time consistent with the additive design principles – to create a building with the current lifelike colorfulness, lush complexity, and symbiotic co-existence of different architectural qualities. Following the design approach of the architect duo Jámbor and Bálint provided us with an opportunity and authorization to boldly supplement the original composition with inventions dictated by our personal feelings, yet to leave certain elements intact. Due to its delicate colorfulness, the house is receptive to everything that finds its own harmony and relates to the whole unit – even with a not necessarily identical form language. The firm basis of this harmonious relation is honesty, a manifestation true to the building’s age as much as to our time, avoiding any archaistic statements.