Kővárian Style - A Handbook,Worst-case Scenario Heritage Management
Year ︎ 2020 - 2021
Outcome ︎ Speculation
Location ︎ Budapest
Team ︎ Lilla Árkovics, Bernadett Csendes, Attila Róbert Csóka, Imola Fazakas, Virág Kiss, Szabolcs Molnár, Dávid Smiló
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The aim of this book is to transform an architect's built heritage into a continuable architectural behaviour. In this capacity, it is an attempt to open new ways for the protection of modern architectural heritage in ways observed in historical architecture.
The post-war modern built heritage is one of the most endangered architectural styles both in the East and in the West. This is a striking phenomenon for us aspiring architects, so to speak, a daily experience. The situation is particularly burdened in Eastern Europe, including Hungary, where the authors come from. On a daily basis, the most important buildings of the most important creators of the era are disappearing without any social discourse, and there is no visible way of stopping this process. The technological obsolescence of modern buildings is an undeniable fact, and a broad segment of society is rejecting the achievements of the era. And if the state, giving in to social pressure, backs out of the task of preserving the heritage of a cultural era, the professionals will have little room for manoeuvre.
We are therefore talking about a typical situation that necessarily forces us, practicing architects, to look for new strategies. Articulating ones that are able to provide protection for the outstanding but demolished built heritage beyond the existing, well-established paradigms of heritage protection. There must exist heritage protection even in the worst case scenario.
Behind the focus of the book are phenomena that are generally known and accepted in architecture, but little mentioned in relation to modern architecture. There was no widely accepted consensus whether modern architecture is a style or a behaviour present and freely applicable in architecture. And although this question is still not settled today, it is clear that certain modern architects or the modern architecture of certain regions did have stylistic features. It is this latter fact that inspired the idea of this book and gave room to the approach that we have applied.
Widespread concepts in architectural circles, such as the Palladio facade or Corbusian architecture, predict that there are heritage preserving, or at least heritage-invigorating strategies that help pass on an architect’s heritage not in the materials of specific buildings but in design processes. We thought that the work of Hungarian architect György Kővári is suitable for transforming it into a specific style and preserving its heritage alongside an alternative strategy.
This book is therefore a handbook. It provides designers, investors and decision-makers with guidance on how to apply the stylistic features of the Hungarian-born post-war architect György Kővári to their future architectural constructions, investments and real estate developments. For this reason, the book analyses György Kővári’s architecture along a specific structure, and makes recommendations concerning its applicability, thus making it suitable for creating an architectural design guides and manuals for buildings and urban districts.
Nevertheless, we are confident that this book will provide a meaningful experience for anyone interested in architecture, and will allow them to learn about the work of an outstanding modern architect in detail. The other reason why we hope that this will be the case is that this book is also an artwork made for the Othernity project, the exhibition of the Hungarian pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, and is therefore necessarily intended to provide the general public with important learnings.