Architects: Peter Kovacs DLA, Istvan Lengyel
Location: Debrecen, Hungary
General Design: Archiko Kft. and Lengyel Epiteszmuterem Kft.
Associate Architects: Lajos Barabás, Tibor Bartha, Ottó Ferenczi, György Kazamér, István Kecskés, Éva Molnár
Client: University of Debrecen Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Sciences.
General Contractor: HUNÉP Zrt.
Gross Floor Area for the 1st Phase: 2,591 sqm
Gross Floor Area for the 2nd Phase: 3,500 sqm
Cost: 3,416,083 €
Photographs: Tamas Bujnovszky
The Mag-ház (Seed House) – designed by Peter Kovacs DLA and Istvan Lengyel – is the postgraduate centre of the University of Debrecen’s Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Sciences. The glass surfaces, the steel window- and door frames and the steel shadings, just as the playful attitude of the concrete blade walls running along on the front side effect variety to the L-shaped, white plastered building. The current building is the first phase of the whole architectural program and regarding to the plans it will receive a U-shaped form at the end of the entire project.
Front of the white plastered building, articulated with wide window plates, concrete blade wall elements have been placed to create a protected intermediate space. Functioning as a pedestrian and relaxing zone, the bordering wall elements of this space have become quite light and easy thanks to their openings’ free rhythms and also the last element has even become a slender archway towards the neighbouring house.
“We designed this intermediate space to fulfil a pleasant passage function and to maintain continuity between the indoor and outdoor space, and with the playful concrete wall elements we wanted to shake up the rigid building line of the area.” – as the architects say.
The openness of the spacious entry hall – with the hanging corridor and the glassed balustrades made with narrow steel section profiles – already has the atmosphere filled with transparency and reflections, which is the main characteristic of the building. Opening from the hall, the main staircase with its vertical glassed corner turn and the small glassed bridges of the central hallway continue this transparent concept, and the glass wall at the end of the hallway fills the building with natural light. The architects’ intention was “to use the natural light as a building material and use it as a dominating element”.
About the building area
The building plot is situated between the Finance Office from the 60’s and the architects formerly designed Lighthouse (completed in 2000) in a flat area. The current building follows the second one’s system organised by the north-south longitudinal axis and shows some similarity to its volumes’ proportions. Doing so, the architects continued their earlier building concept and developed it with an architectural interaction in mind.
The full program
The building, as it is now, contains seminar rooms and offices, but during the second phase regarding to the whole architectural program, it will be completed with a collage wing and will receive a U-shaped form. The completed building will be situated like a wedge among the two other houses and the area will get a longitudinal building arrangement. Also, it will organize the area architecturally by making connections between the neighbouring buildings – on the front side with the concrete wall elements and the passage, on the back side with concrete arcades formed by slim columns and with an intensive afforestation.