Kemenes Volcano Visitor Centre: An Iconic Public Building with the Spirit and Essence of A Volcano

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Hungary is not rich in active volcanos but its large expanse used to be volcanic some 5 million years ago. It makes this country has good quality soil for high-level wine production. Kemenes Volcano Visitor Centre is an iconic public building located in this country, in the fifth largest town called Celldömölk. This building is designed by Foldes Architects in 2019 with the spirit and essence of a volcano on its interior, structure, and design.

Building

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This iconic building lays 200 km West of the capital Budapest and it has been realized after the architectural contest announced in 2009 by the Celldomolk City Council when the architect celebrated their winning entry from the 44 projects. The chosen plot for this center building is a flat area between the 5 million-year-old Sag Hill and the city of Celldomolk.

 

Design and Concept

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The architect captures the true substance of the location instead of creating a volcano-shaped museum building from the brief straight translation. Based on their concept, the spirit and essence of a volcano can be delivered through the flue-like arrangement of the space, the lava inspired color of the corten steel, the homogeneous grey of the concrete, and the raw materials.

 

Interiors

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There are two engaging attractions inside this building. There is a vertically open space at first sight. A small window can be found five floors above, letting in more lights to offer the flat roof ‘eruption’ point. The facade industrial materials appear with the interior perfectly on the opposite side. These materials consist of the corten steel cubes, steel staircase and corridor, dark grey rasin flooring, and naked concrete walls.

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The different sizes and positions of the corten boxes are linked by the varied height and location of bridges. These offer a lot of different functions and also present the fascinating typology and history of volcanos. In order to create a more refined interior, the exhibition texts are located on the wall directly without supporting boards. This building is a perfect and great example to feel and wander into the Picasso’s Guernica.

Photographer: Tamás Bujnovszk