Chapel of Our Heart
The György Gottsegen National Cardiovascular Institute is Hungary's leading medical institution dealing with cardiovascular diseases, which helps both the adult and paediatric population in the field of modern treatment, care, rehabilitation, and prevention.
The Institute's aim is to provide high quality care to improve not only the physical condition of the patients, but also their psychological and social well-being. In this spirit, the need has arisen to create a sacred space where patients and their relatives, or even the staff themselves, can find peace and strength.
Our office was asked to design a chapel on the 6th floor roof of the existing building of the Institute. In consultation with the original architects, a design for a new part of the building was drawn up, using a steel support structure on the existing monolithic structure. The appearance of the new mass is moderately different from the architecture of the building 25 years earlier. The exterior cladding is a warm-coloured sheet metal covering, with the subtle structural difference coming from the interior layout.
The internal organisation of the space would be based on the Catholic liturgy, considering the ecumenical spirit. The shaping of the intimate interior space is inspired by the idea of welcoming, the images of flow in the chambers of the heart. The tree, which symbolises life, embraces the visitor in its materiality and fragrance. The appearance of the space is defined by oak flooring, ash panelling, snow-white plasterboard ceilings and metal furniture.
A play of directional and diffused lights fills the space. The sight of the cityscape emerging from the panoramic window and the morning light reflected on the ceiling, refracted on the surface of the rainwater collector on the flat roof, add a distinct atmospheric element to the spiritually elevated experience of the space.