Pannonhalma Abdij Visitor Centre / Roeleveld Sikkes

© Tamás Bujnovszky

Architects: Roeleveld Sikkes
Location: Pannonhalma,
Landscape: Pigment Studio
Structural Design: Földvári Mérnökiroda Kft.
Building Engineering: NOVOTERV Kft.
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Tamás Bujnovszky

concept diagram

The recent opening of the brand new visitors centre at the renowned Pannonhalma Benedictine monastery introduces a contemporary addition to one of Hungary’s most prominent landmarks of cultural heritage. The addition symbolizes the confidence in the future for a cultural legacy in Hungary.

© Tamás Bujnovszky

The competition winning design of RS | Roeleveld-Sikkes Architects based in Budapest and The Hague, emphasizes on improving the union between the various buildings of the monastery. The Pannonhalma monastery has been a beacon for culture and crafts for over a thousand years. The monastery grounds of the Benedictine order house the finest examples of religious art, crafts and architecture. It has been inscribed into the Unesco World Heritage List in 1996. Today the monastery is still in use and can be regarded as one of the key touristic features of Hungary, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.

© Tamás Bujnovszky

In contradiction with some monasteries the Benedictine order embraces these touristic possibilities. In 1996 the order acquired its pre-war vineyards, giving them the opportunity to make wine once again. An architecture competition for the new visitors centre was issued in 2006 in order to offer the visitors an experience other than merely the remarkable historic reference. They now offer the possibility to taste the fine wines and locally grown products.

© Tamás Bujnovszky

RS | Roeleveld-Sikkes Architects won the competition by proposing a contemporary building in the continuity of a thousand years of change. Instead of merely building on top of the hill, a greater part of the program, especially the car park, is situated completely underground. The centre is integrated into the traffic circulation plan leading visitors straight to the car park. Through a careful system of stairs and ramps, the visitors reach the visible part of the building housing the restaurants, the terrace and auditoria. The underground car park not only ensures an unprecedented view, it factually restores the landscape. The various functions of the visitors centre, two restaurants, a bar and auditoria are flexible in use. In essence this discrete but present centre offers the visitors of Pannonhalma a comfortable environment to enjoy the cultural richness of the grounds and buildings.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Pannonhalma Abdij Visitor Centre / Roeleveld Sikkes" 07 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • gramercy

    nice to see a hungarian project
    you should look into some more

  • up_today_arch

    Nice simplicity… Clearly…

  • James Harrison

    Looks like a giant video-tape. They should have buried that as well.

  • suhrud bokare

    good project.