Location VIIIth district, Budapest
Client Pázmány Péter Catholic University
Floor area 54 000 m2
General designer MCXVI Architects
Leading architect designer László Herczeg, Gábor Szokolyai
Architect designers Bercel Dózsa, Gergely Galántai, Gábor Hajdu, Dávid Kálna, Krisztián Kiss, Fruzsina Mezei, Gellért Nyitrai
Status International Design Competition
Project year 2021


“[..-.] the clever man does not like the noble words, but the strong realities.” (Péter Pázmány)

Due to the complexity of architecture, it has to absorb, use and transmit a wide range of knowledge, needs, spirituality and rationality at the same time. Its cultural complexity, difficulty and beauty at the same time. A building is reality itself. Walkable, provides protection, provides space for human life, influences its quality. Yet the result of its complexity must be some simplicity that is, of course, rooted in everyday reality, but at the same time elevates its spirit. Good architecture, strong reality “.


The initial idea of our tender concept is to dedicate an important role to the gardens and the interaction between the gardens and the buildings. The unity of the two genres is characteristic of both historical and contemporary architecture.

“The garden was and will be a reward in the end: a real and imaginary space that runs real actions into symbolic space and provides opportunities for symbols to be represented as bodies. The garden expands into the human universe and, for centuries, can be interpreted as a symbolic ensemble of the world in the organic and then Renaissance neoplatonist-inspired vitalist worldview of the world. The result of all the knowledge that is important to man will be this semi-humanized nature (or semi-natural human medium). ” (János Géczi: The source of knowledge)

,, … Hortuss Conclusus, which became the basic European type of enclosed garden following medieval and renaissance Christian literature. In the Middle Ages, walled gardens surrounded by dangerous nature also appeared in towns, palaces and monasteries. ”

Our goal is to strike a balance between the historical architecture represented by the palaces, the traditions of Catholicism, and the contemporary architecture represented by the planned campus. The Károlyi and Eszterházy palaces must be renovated with historical fidelity, of course in accordance with nowadays technical requirements and new functions. The shaping of the gardens, and the details of the buildings with spatial and stylistic elements, are showing respect towards historical architectural traditions as a kind of common set. The architectural editing and formulation of the upper levels is fundamentally rationally pure, with contemporary architectural intentions. The square block of the existing palaces and the new parts of the building are related. The designed blocks divide the installation along the different functions. The essence of our construction concept is that we tried to maximize the area of public spaces and green spaces for the city and the university campus. The freeing up of spaces between palaces can result in their urban architectural emphasis. The way to do this is to compose the building blocks into a compact mass with quality compaction and minimal ground floor occupancy. This goal is also served by the fact that the control level has been moved to the -1 level, which provides a connection between the individual functions.

The main entrance, adjusted to the size of the campus, was placed between the Károlyi Palace and the Eszterházy Palace. It is a starting point, a situation of arrival, a meeting point, a recognizable architectural and landscape emphasis. It includes generous stairs, seating and conversation areas, cascades, trees, green spaces that allow for both campus-like and urban-like use and a bustling community life. Based on the editing principles found in the archive drawings and photos, we created a space between Festetics and Eszterházy Palace, a garden with a classic, central symmetry living with today’s tools. In the case of the garden of the Károlyi Palace, we can almost completely restore the original symmetrical spatial structure. the Museum Street fence was reconstructed in an openwork manner.

The basement and street level, a total of 10 meters high space, were connected in several places and opened as much as possible to the gardens, public spaces and the passage. Inside the blocks, internal courtyards were created on different levels, facilitating the dense structure.