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Puritan, yet elegant church interior designed by Studio Bunyik

Studio Bunyik redesigned the interior of the Hernádkak Reformed Church using minimalist solutions, while at the same time carefully taking into account local needs, in line with contemporary trends in church design.

The renovation of the Reformed church in the nearby town of Miskolc took place in 2020, during which the façade, windows, and roof were renovated. To redesign the interior of the church, the congregation commissioned the designers of Studio Bunyik.

A couple of years ago, the pastor and his partner found us on the Internet in connection with the renovation of the meetinghouse. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that work because we didn’t have the capacity. A few years later, when the church interior needed renovation, a mutual acquaintance recommended us. We only realized this connection after we started working together,” say the designers, who have strong connection to the area, having grown up in the nearby town of Encs.

They were tasked with renovating the entire interior, from lighting to designing new surfaces and furniture. The design started in autumn 2019, with the construction starting six months later and the majority of the work was completed in 2020. Emphasizing the purist look typical of Reformed churches was an important consideration for the designers, as was making the relatively small church more elegant and creating a more spacious feel. To achieve this, the surfaces were illuminated and modern lighting was designed into the interior.

“The pastor of the Reformed parish of Hernádkak approached the renovation with confidence and very good taste. We worked together all the way through and made decisions together on everything. This was necessary because of the distance, as he was on the spot and could react quickly to events,” adds Emese Bunyik.

The interior is characterized by marble-patterned stoneware, which, together with the bright spaces and sophisticated lighting, contributes to the elegant look of the space. By modifying the previous composition of the apse, the church space has been made more inclusive – the pulpit, Moses’ chair, and the harmonium are arranged in a semicircle around the altar.

Donations were received for the church, such as furniture; the location, and appearance of which was also matched to the already completed interior by Studio Bunyik. The designers envisaged renovating the old pews and installing new furniture, which would have been designed by Péter Boronkay, one of the founders of the Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop. In the end, new benches and refurbished versions of the old furniture were added to the space. Instead of the pastel and white benches originally planned, natural pine benches were used, so that the all-white, puritan interior envisioned in the concept is replaced by a warmer, more natural space.

The renewed church can be seen in a 3D photo taken by Miklós Horváth.

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Photos: Horváth Miklós

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