Opening ceremony of Mindszentyneum in Zalegerszeg

Opening ceremony of Mindszentyneum in Zalegerszeg

The new contemporary building of the Mindszentyneum, which commemorates the life of József Mindszenty, former vice-parish priest of Zalaegerszeg and the persecution of the church during the communist dictatorship, was inaugurated in a solemn ceremony with a Holy Mass. TSPC’s team supported the project with the general design, implementation, and technical supervision. The general design was done in consortium with Konkrét Stúdió Építészeti Kft.

The 1,200 m2 building, implemented as part of the Modern Cities Programme, includes exhibition halls, a conference and community space for 120 people, and museum education rooms. The centre is also open to visitors as a place of pilgrimage.

The Mindszenty Pilgrim Centre is in the immediate vicinity of the Museum of Göcsej. The layout and massing of the building are aligned with the existing historic building and its layout. The entrance courtyard creates a negative form within the uniformly structured massing. This form is the dominant element of the main façade. Along the façade, the material is used to create a semi-permeable “membrane” through which light, sight and street noise can pass. The continuous outer “membrane” connects the façade and the roof. It is the ‘mantle’ of the building, reflecting the cardinal’s mantle and its materials (moiré silk, lace), symbolising Mindszenty’s commitment to protect the Church, even on his life.

The building’s “mantle” is changing with subtle light-shadow play. The material is exclusive, long-lasting, specially coated aluminium lamella. The perforated surface allows the interior world of the otherwise closed building to shine through. Gold has been used for highlights and lettering, and the opening frames are made of metal or fine concrete. The “mantle” also significantly reduces the thermal load of the building.

In the middle of the courtyard, a carefully chosen ornamental tree has been placed. The central element of the building is the internal atrium, which spans the entire height of the building and forms a perfect visual unity with the atrium.

Beneath the elegant, symbolic exterior, a simple, clean, and puritan interior has been built, emphasising the house’s namesake’s credo and the virtues of his personality. The spaces and shapes are clean, transparent, and convey an uplifting feeling. The typically white, raw, grey surfaces are blended with natural wood and soft textiles to create a cosy atmosphere. Light is a key component of the interior and exterior of the building.

On the ground floor, open space provides services that generate ongoing community activity, a lobby, café, museum shop, events centre and a community space with a separate entrance. It also houses the museum ticket office and information desk. The first and second floors house the two exhibition spaces and the associated museum education spaces, while the top floor houses a temporary exhibition and events space and a large roof terrace.

The Mindszenty Museum also has an almost hundred-space car park. With this development, Zalaegerszeg can also become an important stop on Mary’s Pilgrimage Route from Csíksomlyó to Mariazell.

Staff list

Client: Municipality of the City of Zalaegerszeg

Lead architect: Mihály Kádár – TSPC Kft.; Csaba Balogh – Konkrét Építészeti Stúdió Kft.

Project manager: Csilla Kóbor – TSPC Kft.

Architect and interior designer: Csaba Balogh, Ágnes Deigner, Levente Sirokai, Péter Sonicz – Konkrét Stúdió Kft.

Architect and interior designer colleagues: Krisztina Ancza, Norbert Szilagyi, David Toronyi, Ági Vértesy Konkrét Stúdió Kft.

Building engineering designer: Vörös Tamás – Perfect-Plan Kft.

Building structure designer: Károly Nagy – Épszerkinfo Kft.

Electrical engineer: György Kapitor – Zone-Plan Kft.

Architectural lighting designer: Ferenc Haász, Lőrinc Rácz – MadebyLight Zrt.

Environmental designer: Hencz Helga – Kertművek Kft.

Structural desginer: Máté Tamás – MGT Ltd.

Energy design: István Kistelegdi – TSPC Kft.

Environmental protection: TSPC Ltd.

Technical consultancy: Zoltán Soós, László Vámosi, László Takács, József Sándor, László Bagonyai, Attila Czinder – TSPC Ltd. – Zalaber Ltd.

Constructor: ZÁÉV Építőipari Zrt.

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