Competition to Design a Marcel Breuer Public Memorial Column

The South Transdanubian Chamber of Architects has launched a public competition for the design of a memorial column to be erected in memory of Marcel Breuer in March 2023. Our studio has entered the competition.

The starting point of our concept is the iconic window of perhaps the most important building designed by Marcel Breuer, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. The window as architectural archetype is rich in symbolism. In culture and art it has been used as an emblem of outlook, freedom and openness. In addition to its functionality, this symbolism in architecture is given a prominent role in shaping the character of a building. Perhaps the most original part of Breuer’s architectural language is the window composition of the Whitney Museum. Considered gloomy, heavy, even brutalist when it was completed in 1966, Breuer’s building is now seen as bold, powerful and innovative, and considered one of New York City’s most iconic buildings.

The final version reduced the spatial element to a single plane composition, retaining the contours of the opening. It is made of off-white fine concrete with a mineral impregnation surface. The inscriptions are applied to the concrete surface by acid etching and painting.

The Marcel Breuer promenade in Pécs has a lively pedestrian traffic. We felt it was important to compel the passers-by to stop and contemplate for a few minutes the legacy of Marcel Breuer.