3h is a group of architects working in Budapest. The firm’s activities include the design of office, residential, public and ecclesiastical buildings and the restoration of historic buildings. Numerous Hungarian and international prizes, invitations to tenders, publications and exhibitions testify to the quality of its output. The firm, which currently employs 15 people, was set up in 1994 by Katalin Csillag and Zsolt Gunther. The office takes pride in both its flair for imaginative concepts and its skill in finding cutting-edge technical solutions. 3h refers to the hardness of a pencil: just as the hard 3h pencil leaves an indelible mark, so the 3h group of architects strives to leave its mark on the world with its designs and buildings.


Raising questions

Our architecture focuses primarily not on the design of objects and buildings, but rather on the spatial solution of complex problems. In order to give good answers, we need to ask good questions.

Thinking contextually

Since the starting point is always different, the outcome cannot be the same. We handle our projects in their own context, thanks to this approach each and every one of them is unique and timeless. The context is a point of reference, whether embedded in history, or in the fabric of a city.


We interpret sustainability at several levels - from an environmental, economic and social point of view. Sustainability means human focus, including the development and preservation of the human scale.

Research and intuition

Our design process therefore starts with the interpretation and analysis of the task. In addition to research and analysis, intuition also plays an important role in our work. Than we process the thought structure, created after the analysis, into spatial forms.

Layers of time

We add the present as an equal part to the layers of earlier periods. Our architecture is rooted in the past, but we aim to interpret it from a present and future perspective.

Design as a tool

We believe that architecture goes beyond its basic definition, the formation of spaces: contemporary design offers the opportunity to remedy complex social problems.


Rural archetypes

As we established our office in Győr and we believed in the viability of the countryside, we spent a lot of time researching the architecture of the region. The countryside has brought us closer to a number of tangible topics that have inspired us constantly: the covered, yet open spaces of the porch, the building on the side-line of the plot, and the potential provided by high-rise roofs. The less specific but atmospheric elements had a powerful impact. The special light of the plain, its limited vegetation and its natural materials, as well as the traces of human work, have kept us occupied continuously. Looking at the countryside the reassuring presence of the common and simple objects and spaces is striking. This is the exact opposite to the rushing and overwhelming world of our times.

Contemporary sculpture

The arts, especially contemporary sculpture, have a great influence on us. Organizing interspersed spaces, visual connection between different spaces, incandescent light beams, and compositions of space labyrinths can be traced back to the works of Anthony Gormley, István Haász, Eduardo Chillida, Anish Kapoor. Soft spaces in strictly edited forms, easy - heavy and empty - full dilemma, show the impact of these experiences. The inclination to experiment in our office can be connected to the inspirational effect of sculpture. When making model series errors often work inspiring.

Modernism of the 60's

In the city the legacy of the modern architecture of the '60s influenced our work subconsciously. The experimental, but already mature style is an often belittled part of our architectural heritage. The clean editing method and the reduced surfaces made us to strive to create self-evident spaces. At the same time the "local style" in Hungary encouraged us to deviate from the rules of modernism. Parts of Hungarian mentality are flexibility and the sometimes inappropriate or unsuitable way of thinking. The signs of these can be detected in the irrational components smuggled into strict designs by local modernism.

Ornamentation as a historical demand

In 2006 we moved our office to Budapest. The city, its density and rhythms, together with its history, had a stimulating effect on us. The lushness of the decoration against the purity of the contryside encouraged us to use and re-think it. Decoration as a national virtue has always been an integral part of Hungarian architecture. The mixing of universal and local motifs instead of pure solutions, gave birth to original, sometimes quite brilliant results. The doubtful, the immature, the questioning of the ideal of beauty broadens boundaries and inspires. Decoration or its abstraction is a historical demand for contemporary Hungarian architecture.