Spaces of Intensity is not a traditional treatise about architecture, focussing on the work of a particular architects’ studio. When we began thinking about this volume we decided to introduce each of the themes concerning us with an essay combining both images and texts. Besides presenting our ideas better, it shows the environment we are working in and at the same time inspires us. After having been in Győr for 12 years, in 2006 our office moved to Budapest. From periphery to a metropolis: the change of location went together with the increasing scale and complexity of our tasks. The book contains essays about nine constructed buildings and five designs, written by renowned experts on architectural theory and the co-founder of our office, Zsolt Gunther. It focuses on four main themes which appear in the architecture of the office to different degrees: context and typology, intervening space, space and light, and decoration.



What concerns us is the interdependence of place, building and space, where not only the existing building or the location determine the new, but also the space and its programming – i.e. its typology – react on the context. We often develop a new programme which transforms an existing building by generating a modified type or, as a new building, produces a surprising change in the surroundings. In this way the context is always recreated and reinterpreted. Thus the context is not only fed from the past, it also has a future direction.

Intermediate Spaces

A powerful concept has always been part of our design strategy. Many intense discussions accompanying the process of design have helped the core of the various plans to mature, which we tried to maintain throughout the design process. When we are considering concept seemingly obscure intervening spaces very often appear. This is the point which connects our thinking about concept and space. This is the point which so much characterises the Central European region and affects our concept of space latently.

Ornamental Perception

Decoration as a national virtue has always been an organic part of Hungarian architecture. A mixture of universal and local motifs reached an original and sometimes cool result rather than pure solutions. Questioning the doubtful, unsettled ideal of beauty extended the boundaries and also inspired us. The approach to decoration presents a challenge in the case of protected buildings, with the result that contemporary additions involve a special adventure. However, decoration as such makes its way with overwhelming force in relation to contemporary buildings. Can we say that decoration or its abstraction appear as a historical demand in Hungarian contemporary architecture?

Space and Light

The fact that space is the central subject of architecture is obvious. Even clearer is that space and light complement each other. Due to their abundance and lavish appearance, the spaces of protected buildings are almost impossible to realize in today’s sparing world. Yet what are the situations when something can be smuggled back from this abundance? This chapter highlights these circumstances, from the modernist buildings of the photographic essay to the special projects designed by us.


Claus Käpplinger (ed.), Spaces of Intensity. 3h architects, Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2020, ISBN: 978-3-0356-1966-9.


The video of the book launch can be watched here:



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