Location, time and creative people are the three essential
determinant factors of architecture. The intersection, the
common set of these three elements is the architectural
work that takes „place” both in space and time. Initially,
location meant the direct place occupied by the building and
its immediate vicinity; and this location was determined –
among others – by its climate, the geographical conditions
and the quality of the available building materials. Then, by
the development of civilization, this location was expanding.
Unified orders of forms and styles could be created across
countries and cultures; and by the development of the economy
also the variety of building materials became less restricted.
Finally, in our time, location has expanded to be global;
its role has dissolved in these global dimensions and the
location itself became uninterpretable. This is clearly visible
when contemplating the celebrated works of contemporary
architecture; it is easy to notice that a unique place plays
fewer and fewer roles in the formation, the specific location
of the building becomes increasingly indifferent regarding the
essential criteria.
This architectural phenomenon makes part of the general localglobal
dilemma that affects politics, economy and culture,
being one of the most concerned issues of our time. This raises
interesting and important questions in the narrower field of
architecture too. What makes difference between the certain
regions of this globally expanded location? Do the specific subregions
still have appreciably distinct identity, and if yes, how
can that be seized? Or conversely: does identity have the ability
to borrow a unique characteristic to the specific regions? There
are no absolutely sure, clear answers to these questions, only
answer-attempts and answer-experiments exist, sometimes
even with completely contradictory contents.
Also within the BUTE Doctoral School of Architecture, we
can only attempt and try to answer these questions. We
try to approach the varied layers of this complex problem
through specific creative works, competition plans, as well
as in individual and group research. Philosophically, with
the spacious generalization of the issue, the relationship of
the part and the whole can be analyzed: whether the whole
is equal to the sum of the parts, or, on the other hand, may
the whole be recognized when approaching it from direction
of the pieces? Examining the emotional aspects it can be seen
that human binding to certain places and regions is inherent
in almost everyone in some form; but at the same time, the
world’s attraction and the desire for being independent from
the location also have a growing influence. From the cultural
point of view, the specific values of location and region are
published in a multitude of art works, as examples here can be
mentioned the poems of Sándor Petőfi, Endre Ady and Miklós
Radnóti, the landscape paintings of Géza Mészöly, László
Paál or the artists of the Colony of Nagybánya, as well as the
graphics of Győző Somogyi. And finally, examining the question
in terms of architecture: does each region have separable,
specific architecture and more or less distinctive form, or all
these have already been alloyed by the generalizing power of
the Zeitgeist, in other words: by fashion.
Region and identity. This motto seemed to be an attractive
opportunity to look around our immediate environment,
in the neighboring regions of East-Central Europe (or if you
prefer, Central and Eastern Europe), to learn the architectural
aspirations that are different from our ones or which are just
the same. Life and practice, however, have directed the interest
to a narrower track, along with the themes of the creativeresearch
work, as most of them were looking for the identity
problems in regions inside Hungary. And there is a lot of truth
in this practical and at the same time emotional reduction; first
we need to get acquainted with our own region, relationships
and life, and then, standing on this firm and intimate basis, we
can look around the world with self-confidence.


Ferenc Cságoly DLA, Dsc, HAS Mem.
head of BUTE Doctoral School of Architectural Design