Architect Carol Kharbosh relied on deep research to recreate the translucent outer form of the Szent Klara temple in Hungary as part of a renovation proposal.

Emerging from the old ruins of the Franciscan monastery in the heart of Margrit Island in Budapest, the old church was built in the 13th century and featured a Gothic style, according to Kharbosh’s research. The renovation project aims to renew the site and represent the church in its original form, with a translucent outer shell made from glass and steel not only protecting the existing walls against further degradation but also allowing visibility of the ruins to visitors.

Kharbosh proposed to build an outer shell for the walls to protect them and recreate the church’s old form. The use of glass in this outer shell would open up the view to the outdoors and make the original walls visible from outside the church. A white cross pattern on the translucent shell serves an aesthetic purpose while also partially blocking the sun from entering the church.

The proposal maintains the traditional character that exists in most of the churches of this era including the main hall, mezzanine, bell tower and priests’ room. However, to meet contemporary needs, the architect has added other layouts to the spatial program as the church would be used for special marriages and baptism ceremonies.

Keeping these considerations in mind, the bell tower incorporates a special upper space to serve as a panoramic gallery while the backside of the main hall also takes the form of a gallery. Kharbosh’s proposal, which features portal steel trusses with spider glazing systems, seeks to minimise the impact on the overall environment of the church. The southern side of the church’s roof has a photovoltaic installation featuring 153 solar panels to produce sufficient power to even light up the surrounding landscape.

Images: Carol Kharbosh