Imre Makovecz, b 1935
He actually isn't dead yet, but he's about 80 years old and retired so I feel like we can talk about his body of work as one that is fully complete (and he still makes appearances every so often) This is his Lutheran Church in Siofok.
I think in America we don't like to experiment with Architecture the same way it's been done in Europe, especially during the middle of the 20th century. We look at this and we'd think it was a sci-fi set or something in that vien--with the way our building process works--going through picky community meetings and etc, a risky building like this just wouldn't happen.
I think it is good to see something like a church--which is something that we have a stereotyped vision of in our heads--drawn a different way. And it is beautiful--the dove-like wings over the door, The shape of the roof, the bright orange color. It still shows spirituality through this man's designs.
This is another church he built, the Paks Catholic Church in the 1980's and it, too surprises us with it's low doors and windows compared to a towering roof. The dome-like structure is like a beehive, and the materials used to create it hatch across the grain at an angle that is almost surreal.
This is the Villa Richter (1983) that was a personal residence, I believe. I love how he uses windows to cut almost a cross-section out of the house as if it were an orange. PS Hercule Peroit would totally live here.
The inside of his Community center in Szigetvár (1985) And you can see how he uses space to create warmth and energy. In comparison, we can think of Frank Lloyd Wright, who liked to use small doorways and low ceilings as entrances to buildings to make the inside space seem larger, Imre Makovecz uses a similar technique, but using lower arches and small proportions at the bottom of his buildings to make the high ceilings appear even higher and more incredible. It makes sense why he made several churches--since he makes these reverent spaces that seem almost as if they contain little heavens within themselves.
I love the roof treatment he did in his Sárospatak Cultural Centre (1974) and how it glides into the porch covering, acting almost as eyelashes. Just a wonderful use of curves and contrast between the glass porch cover and the wooden roof.
If you haven't guessed, this is a mortuary, and it looks like he designed the roof to look exactly like a spine. Sort of a creepy feeling to us Westerners who like our morgues to be sans-spines, but putting that personal feeling aside, I like to think instead how he meant this to respect death and to accept what is to come to all of us eventually one day. How he decided to have this shape cocooning everyone who is placed under it, not only as a reminder but also a comforting thing, in how the spinal shape also takes the shape of wings, the more I look at it.
He also made a Campsite facility in Visegrád in 1976. Coolest place to go camping, ever. Of course the guy makes Churches and morgues, so to make a building in the middle of nature seems hand-in-hand. I like how he decided to make these sets of buildings look as if they were part of the same building that is only missing a roof--a roof made up of the landscape around it.
Here is the inside to the Paks Catholic Church. For those familiar with the religion, you can see how he puts in religious symbols throughout the room, but in a different way than we're used to seeing in older Catholic Churches throughout Europe. I absolutely love how he did the skylight on top, and how the wood laces through and around it, as if it just naturally grew that way.
He is a marvelous architect, and if you want to see more pictures of these buildings, as well as floor plans, I found them at this website: http://www.zenth.dk/research/intro.htm it's definately worth a look!