John Pawson

Basilica Renovation . Pannonhalma

John Pawson . photos: @ Tamas Bujnovszky . + domusweb

Combining Medieval, Baroque, nineteenth century and later structures, the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannohalma is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The objective of this major renovation of the abbey’s thirteenth-century church was the retuning of its interior to reflect contemporary patterns of liturgical use, whilst also recovering something of the spirit and spatial quality of the original architecture. A meticulous process of simplification and clarification restores volumetric integrity and improves the penetration of natural light. Within the bounds of structural and archaeological feasibility, the topography of the interior has been subtly refined to enhance the sense of connection between congregation, altar and celebrant and to underscore the ascending section and axial plan of the church, symbolising the individual’s ascent to God. The new rose window forms the logical point of transcendence in this theological narrative, sign-posted in a series of liturgical landmarks de fabricated in onyx, beginning with the font at the church’s west end, leading through the nave to the altar and lectern and finally upwards to the celestial circle of light.

Design architect: John Pawson
Project architects: Stefan Dold Anna Schulenburg
Lighting design: Speirs and Major Associates, Mark Major, Philip Rose
Executive architect: 3h architecture
Zsolt Gunther, Katalin Csillag, Orsolya Pataj, Tamás Tavaszi
Structural engineering: András Vándor, Emese Olosz
Mechanical engineering: ÉGTI 2003, Imre Benko
Electrical engineering: OHM-PLAN, György Sleiner
Lighting consultant: Be light Kft., Zoltán Morvai, Gergely Papp, Péter Farkas
Acoustic consultant: aQrate Kft., Andor Tamás Fürjes

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