12 Walls - Architecture and Contemporary Ornament Exhibition

Year ︎  2018
Outcome ︎ Site-specific collaborative project
Location ︎ Veszprém, Hungary 
Team ︎ Lilla Árkovics, Bernadett Csendes, Attila Róbert Csóka, Heléna Csóka, Szabolcs Molnár, Dávid Smiló

Collaborators ︎Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, Enorme Studio, False Mirror Office, Levente Gyulai, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Andrew Kovacs, MNPL Workshop, Giacomo Pala, Space Popular, TREES, Very Good Office

Consultant ︎ Dániel Kovács
Graphic Design ︎ Marcell Kazsik
Production ︎ Neopaint
Photo ︎ Balázs Danyi
Publications ︎ DesignboomUrbanista, The Architects Newspaper, Archinect, Octogon

City of Veszprém invited us to organize an exhibition in a building they will renovate in the future to become the office building of the existing theatre of Veszprém. The building is a former industrial school of Veszprém designed by Lajos Schoditsch and was empty for almost 30 years. Our concept for the exhibition was based on the history of the existing building and the theatre, while we wanted to investigate current tendencies in young architecture, and turn the pre-renovation period of the building into a sort of celebration.

Arts at the turn of the century were greatly influenced by two terms, motif and ornament. The achievements of this period include Lajos Schoditsch’s Industrial School or, across the street, István Medgyaszay’s Petőfi Theater, a symbol of Veszprém today. Prior to the renovation, there was an opportunity to reflect on the questions significant for Medgyaszay and the architects of his time, by showing what ornament and decoration mean for young architects today.

In recent years, there is a novel interest in the ornament. This tendency is apparent in the international scene of architecture both in individual productions and in so-far isolated discussions. While this interest is definitely linked to the rediscovery of the Post-Modern architecture and approach, the opportunities provided by digital design tools and the latest accomplishments of the construction sector will result in completely new aspects. Departing from its original meaning, decoration is not a secondary or complementary function anymore, but an architectural quality. Many emerging architects and studios are struggling to settle with the repeatedly omitted, yet constantly resurfacing ornament.

As the curators and organizers of the exhibition we invited young collectives to present different approaches. The works at the exhibition examine the current roles and boundaries of the ornament, by appropriating the late Industrial School’s empty, undecorated walls. 12, to be precise.

The exhibition was realised in collaboration with Veszprém-Balaton 2023 Zrt.

Space Popular

Giacomo Pala
Andrew Kovacs
Enorme Studio

AU Workshop
False Mirror Office
MNPL Workhsop
Adam Nathaniel Furman
Very Good Office
Levente Gyulai
Paradigma Ariadné