The building of the Makovecz Centre and Archives in Budapest was originally intended to be a home. Imre Makovecz built it for his wife and himself. He did not live to move in there, but the building can finally fulfil its purpose by accommodating the late master’s intellectual greatness instead of his physical presence.
The house had perhaps suspected what its role would be: not to be a witness of everyday life, but to safeguard the works, the intellect, and even the spirit of a true genius.
When entering from the street, the building seems secluded. You step into the house in between two stiles and you find yourself inside a shell-shaped structure. The glazed veranda embraces a walnut tree in the middle, leaving room for a patio and the trail of sunlight during the day. Imre Makovecz planned to plant several native fruit trees there to complement the symmetrically curved veranda.
The building is home to the Imre Makovecz Public Benefit Foundation. The community space is at the centre of the house, with a furnace being its beating heart. This is the place for larger events, lectures, concerts, discussions and celebrations. The House also accommodates Imre Makovecz’s study that has been moved here by the Foundation and the late master’s family from the Kecske utca office building. Next to the study is a small exhibition room, hosting themed exhibitions from time to time, with items arranged around a specific thought in each exhibition project. The loft accommodates the Archives: designs and drawings, nearly the entire oeuvre of Imre Makovecz.
“My architecture is humanised architecture, it is focused on man. I always concentrate on the structure, the physiognomy of the human face, for I find in it not only the place but the form of expression as well. What makes the world so interesting to me is that I see in it everything that the Lord God exited from. The human face is an imaginary geography. That is why my buildings resemble the human face and the head, and the roofs resemble the skull. … I call my buildings houses with vision. They have eyes, eyebrows, a nose-like thing, too; with all that, I want to express the inner meaning, the fact that the building is a creature…”
The Makovecz Centre and Archives considers it a mission to safeguard and sustain the spirit of Imre Makovecz – not only in the tangible form of an archives available for research, but also in cultural life.