Trieste Contemporanea settembre 1998 n.5
Vincenzo Broi
Imre Makovecz: A Natural Architect

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"It's important that architecture satisfying its historical narcisisism or general limitations, but by giving shape to a universal spirit". Imre Makovecz

The movement of the Hungarian organic architecture expresses itself through the works of Imre Makovecz, which are based on the theories of Frank Lloyd Wright, Bruce Goff, Herb Green, AlvarAlto and above all on the anthroposophic and eurithmic ideas of Rudolf Steiner. An architecture that rises from internationalist suppositions and sinks its roots in Hungarian traditional culture. Symbols of culture (the tulip which is present in Turkish tradition), animal symbols (the falcon), religious symbols (the moon and the sun), human symbols (windows used as eyes), are utilized and reinterpeted in a new and innovative key. In Hungarian organic architecture, apart from the internationalist root, there is a historical component where the contributions of architects like Kós Károly and Odon Lechner are determinative. The works of Makovecz constitute an element of conjunction and superimposition between modernity and tradition. The shape of his buildings don' t limitate the classical principles of Euclidean geometry, but through a reinterpretation draw from the rich symbolic baggage of Hungarian tradition, pursuing a union between past and present. The utilization of a material particularly familiar in the national panorama such as wood, gives the buildings a traditional apsect, in a modern social context which is in rapid transformation. The call of nature is a constant element in the realizations of this architect: openings surrounded by natural design (shapes of branches and trees), designs of leaves, symbols of life that lead to the most svage aspect of architecture.

Working around the signs and symbols of the ornamental motifs of popular tradition, Makovecz discovers the particular characteristics of simmetry that the spiral generates on the plane and in space, demarcating complementary surfaces, equal and opposing, with asymmetric references that call to movement.

He underlines the relationship that ties signs and concepts, even those forgotten to man's life. A metaphor of life and death in which architecture becomes an instrument of communication and goes beyond traditional stylistic canons.

In the planning of the Stephaneum Auditorium (under construction) of the Catholic University of Piliscsaba, Makovecz utilizes the motifs of classic and renaissance architecture, where the design of the towers of the Hungarian plains, displays the dominant motifs of classicism on the facades (Piranesi and Francesco di Giorgio Martini). The Auditorium Stephaneum is an architectural complex whose nucleus is sorrunded by trees which are not of wood, but of concrete, with a substantial re-reading of the binomial time-matter. The contribution of this architect has produced an element of methodological differentiation and has made a historical fracture with what is universally considered the era of modern architecture. The ethnic root of his works is less visible and profound than it used to be, even if they are still visible, hopefully for many more years (some of his works show a state of crumbling and abandonment), the works which permitted the beginning of an architectural and cultural current of notable artistic, projectual and cultural substance.

Imre Makovecz
Távlati kep/Exhibition Pavillon in London
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