The model of Matthias Church, created by Frigyes Schulek, and its role in the design

  • Lilla Farbaky Deklava


The medieval building of the Church of Our Lady in Buda was converted to be the coronation church between 1872-96, with the design and guidance of Frigyes Schulek, student of Friedrich Schmidt from Vienna. The story of the building model, prepared during the construction, sheds light on the design process. The model was created in the sculptor’s workshop of the construction office from 1877-1884, undergoing several conversions just for the purpose of testing the different design versions. This work was carried out in parallel with the construction until 1884. From analysing the resources, it could be concluded that Schulek designed the facade with two towers of different sizes: a lower neo-Romanesque north tower and another one reconstructed from the existing south tower. In this design, Imre Henszlmann, the instructor of the Temporary Committee of Monuments, played a major role; in his expert report, published in 1874, he suggested building the towers following the supposed invention of the first builders. Schulek realized this suggestion on the model. Although he had submitted the plan with two different towers to a design judgement, the discussion never took place, since the minister, Ágoston Trefort, withdrew the construction of the neo-Romanesque north tower from the building programme in 1884, referring to financial difficulties. So this design stage was only discovered during the research of the model.
Keywords: architectural maquette, architectural model, architectural design, 19th century, historicism, monument protection, architectural research
Published online
How to Cite
Farbaky Deklava, L. (2014) “The model of Matthias Church, created by Frigyes Schulek, and its role in the design”, Periodica Polytechnica Architecture, 45(1), pp. 9-18.