So I just found out that Imre Makovecz the Hungarian Architect had died a few months ago. I wrote my first dissertation on him back in ’92 -´93. In the Summer of 1992 his office was one stop for me on my Eurorail tour. I went to his studio one day, looked round the office and talked to a few Architects there. Then I spent the next couple of days visiting Makovecz buildings.
At that time being just at the beginning of my Architectural studies I found his buildings so refreshingly different. They are not just organic but highly anthropomorphic. Handcrafted within a national and religious folk art tradition but less from traditional Architecture even in Hungary. His designs seemingly bypassed 500 years of history.
But the highpoint of his fame outside of Hungary proved to be his Hungarian pavilion at the ’92 Seville expo. His designs relied on craftsmanship in a way that the modern world doesn’t. The economics of his buildings in a repressed communist Hungary made sense. In a capitalistic market economy Hungary started to become, the economics probably increasingly opposed his way of building. There was talk of a school design in Paris, and he came to the UK in the mid nineties and talked to Prince Charles but nothing came of these excursions.
At their best his buildings speak to us at a more primordial level. There is haunting beauty and charming naivety by turns. But his buildings always left me affected.