House of Open Doors

by Erzsébet Hosszu, Nikolett Dendel from Institute of Architecture at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, Hungary
Tutored by: Balázs Marián, Zsófia Csomay

Author comments:

The antecedent of our degree work was a field work started 3 years ago. In January, 2013 - in cooperation with Ágnes Jekli graphic designer - we started to realize the Hungarian part of an international project, financed by the Council of Europe, called Open Doors Project. Within the framework of Open Doors Hungary we developed a complex program for unaccompanied minor refugees and asylum seekers arriving to Hungary, living in a Childcare Center close to Budapest. For the goal of social inclusion we use the tools of placemaking, visual communication, inclusive design and non-formal education. During this 3 years our connection to the minors, their daily life and the social workers just like to the whole issue got as deep as it’s possible. We decided to devote the researces of our theses and our whole degree work for this issue. The thesis of Erzsébet highlight the significant connection between placemaking and recovery from multiply loss (home, goods, family, country, culture), meanwhile Nikolett’s thesis shows the contexts of the integrated education spaces and community building.

Our degree work is a home and study hall building for around 100 unaccompanied minor forced migrants. According to our experiences and knowledge it is focusing on different scales (urban locating, exterior, interior and object) proposing architectural solutions for their needs.

Tutor comments:

"It is impressive to understand the accuracy of Nikolett and Erzsébet in the way of using their knowledge of migration research and environmental psychology for their theses and master's degree. They are using confortable the different kinds of disciplines, usig good sens to connect the elements of contemporary architecture (mobil wall, changeable spaces) with a current social issue without committing any exaggeration. They understand the fine details (ex. the possibility of personalizing but fend off abuse).

The program of the planned buildings is innovative, the selection of the site is logical in the meaning of location and characters as well. The particular values of the project are the logical harmonization of the residential and educational functions, the promotion of social integration by the created visual, architectural and functional connections: instead of a closed and segregated institution they created a cognizable community place with a powerful message.

Maybe at the beginning of their work neither Nikolett nor Erzsébet supposed that at the moment of their degree presentation the topic of asylum seekers will become a current issue in a national and international context as well. In this situation the work of Nikolett and Erzsébet is an extremely brave statement for the social inclusion and integration: the contract of an architectural roll which is unique in Hungary." /Balázs Marián/

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