Hungarian Pavillon at the Biennale Architettura 2020


Othernity – Reconditioning our Modern Heritage

„Othernity is a new, collaboration based method, which helps us to rethink our practice of heritage protection. It is also an architectural behaviour which helps us to be more responsible for the profession and for the society.”

In 2020 the project of the Venice Architectural Biennale’s Hungarian Pavilion is seeking for lessons that could be learnt from the often disputed and in many ways obsolete heritage of architectural modernism. The curators asked 12 architectural studios from Central and Eastern Europe to rethink 12 iconic modern buildings of Budapest. The plans offer alternatives to reconcile past and future architecture.

The selected buildings of Budapest were built between 1962 and 1986, most of them are in their original condition, but almost all of them are endangered because of the functional and the structural obsolescence and the changing real estate conditions in the districts. The exhibition offers an alternative to demolishing or re-edifying these structures and to destroying all architectural values because of a misunderstood duty for a more sustainable living, also fuelled by aesthetic revulsion and by political antipathy.

Curator Dániel Kovács and the curatorial team of Attila Róbert Csóka, Szabolcs Molnár and Dávid Smiló had several aspects in their mind when choosing the exhibiting architects. By one hand, it was important that they worked with architects from the region who understand the dilemmas concerning the CEE’s architectural heritage given their territorial involvement. On the other hand, they found it crucial that, owing to their age and this way to the absence of a direct connection, they were able to distance themselves from the chosen era for rethinking. Thirdly, the chosen plans needed to be characterized by an experimental attitude, to represent international perspectives, and to be accompanied by a fresh visual form language.

Othernity is the first international project of the Hungarian Pavilion. The exhibition aims to show a new, collaborative method to rethink the ways of heritage protection. It respects the modern buildings and takes care of them at the same time. It is tailored to the needs of the future in an intelligent and sensitive way. The pavilion is going to be displayed as an exhibition space divided into two sections: one showing representations of the past and of the present, while the other part proposing new perspectives gained and learned from the collaborative work.

Architectural studios participating in the project:

·      A-A Collective (Poland / Denmark / Switzerland)

·      Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop (Hungary)

·      b210 (Estonia)

·      BUDCUD (Poland)

·      KONNTRA (Slovenia / North-Macedonia / Croatia)

·      MADA Architecture studio (Serbia)

·      MNPL WORKSHOP (Ukraine)

·      Paradigma Ariadné (Hungary)

·      PLURAL (Slovakia)

·      Vojtěch Rada (Czechia)

·      RLOALUARNAD (Estonia / United Kingdom)

·      Studio Act (Romania)

National Commissioner: Julia Fabényi

Curator: Dániel Kovács

Curatorial team: Attila Róbert Csóka, Szabolcs Molnár, Dávid Smiló

Organiser: Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest

Press days: 2020. május 21-22.

Press contact: Gabriella Rothman


©               EST. 2006               status: 21 Länder, 112 Orte, 1546 Bauten, 118 Objekte