mass place, Normafa.

a sacred space grid.

The central space provided by the Anna-meadow group of six chestnut trees already has a sacral character in itself. In our tender plans, we reflected on this strong spatial effect with an organic shape.

Location: Budapest, Hungary
Architects, creators: Endre Dér, Tamás Ferkai
Year of planning: 2020
Floor plan area: 80 m2

Our structure, opening in an east-west direction, is located in the middle of a group of trees, and is designed with their careful preservation. We faced the “apse” altar to the east, the entrance to the west and toward the larger clearing. The field at both ends can optionally be a venue for larger events or a place of worship for thousands of believers visiting during the pilgrimage to Mary.

We wedged the shape of the grid, made of laminated-glued wooden beams, in accordance with the location of the trees – it twists smoothly between their canopies. To the west, the end point of the entrance rises high like the trees, with a cross at the top. For rain protection and shading, a faintly transparent canvas cover is stretched into the grid fields. The use of donated foundation stones is an important part of our concept: the furniture of the Mass, and thus the altar, is made of these. We placed a contemporary design bell to a seventh, lower tree to the south.

We only used natural, environmentally friendly materials. The pair of existing limestone blocks and wood is complemented by the polished stone block of the floor, the white shade of the canvas and the steel that appears in the small details. The end result is a diverse but harmonious place where parts form a community as well. With its filigree structure and transparency, the entire building appears as a subtle gesture, creating an intimate, indoor-open space.