Ottlik Garden


Memorial garden of Géza Ottlik writer and translator, national design competition, Budapest, District XI, Kosztolányi Dezső tér, 2nd prize

Architects-in-charge: Balázs Biri, Levente Szabó
Co-architects: Rebeka Monory, Máté Pálfy
Graphic design: Aliz Borsa
Landscape design: Borbála Gyüre, Emese Kántor-Turi (Geum Műterem Kft.)

We imagined the memorial place in three structures organized in a concentric shape, both physically and intellectually. These layers work independently of each other, but their mutual reinforcing effect can also be assumed. The park, densely planted with trees, can form a shaded place with good microclimate. The bench with the diameter of 20 m, i.e. more than 60 m long sitting surface, can make the plaza an attractive place visited for encounters, relaxing or reading. This garden will be able to become the actual space of memory if it provides space for some community aspects beyond the personal act of remembrance. Therefore, the ring-shaped bench designates an inner glade where spontaneous or organized community or literary events, e.g. slam poetry meetings can be held, even independently of Ottlik’s oeuvre, but in close contact with literature. We did not want to display Ottlik’s name or biographical data, because they would be the attributes of the official rather than personal remembrance. At the same time, on the ring-shaped concrete bench the geographical names, which appear in Ottlik’s novels, are shown radially, pointing towards the specific place. While the settlement names are etched in the concrete surface, the street names of Buda are prepared with copper inlaid design, referring to the places described in the School at the Frontier and the relevant and symbolic scenes of the writer’s posthumous work, Buda. The geographical names of the works and text-fabrics are intended to represent the world of Ottlik’s writings and at the same time to recall the personal memories of people visiting the place or just passing by.