Renovation & Expansion Project

The Franciscan Monastery building was inaugurated in 1975 after a major reconstruction and transformation into a boarding school-like building for the Kodály Institute. At that time, state-of-the-art technology was coupled with an individual, special interior design reflecting the importance of local folk heritage and as well as internationalisation. However, no major reconstruction has been undertaken since, though need has become evident in recent years.

   


In 2015, the Hungarian Government announced an initiative for various modernisation projects all around the country under the umbrella of the „Modern Cities Programme”, and the city of Kecskemét has become one of the beneficiaries. Within this programme, the ’Renovation and the Expansion of the Kodály Institute Project’ enjoys priority in order to keep the legacy of Zoltán Kodály alive in his hometown. The aim is to serve the ever increasing number of international students and to create an expanded space for twice as many students, and to provide a high-standard environment for top-quality education, research and cultural programmes run by the Institute. The renovation is Stage 1, while the expansion will be Stage 2.

The renovation part of the project started in August 2018, when the Institute had to move to its temporary home in a nearby building of the Old Calvinist College. This is another, beautifully preserved and renovated historical building in Kecskemét, just a few steps from the Monastery building. This temporary facility provides all infrastructure and teaching space necessary for maintaining the high quality tuition and operation.

The renovation works in the Monastery building cover the restoration of the roof, the inner and outer walls and the comprehensive upgrading and modernisation of heating, electrical, water, sanitation, insulation, windows and doors, and IT infrastructure. The primary aim is to transform the Monastery building into an education-only venue with a doubled capacity, meaning that all rooms and spaces will serve education only, and all other functions (lodging, library, concerts, etc.) will move to the new building, which is to be constructed as part of the expansion (Stage 2). By Stage 2, construction work will have been completed in the Library & Archives, so offices will remain in the temporary home, and students will still need to arrange accommodation on their own.

            
Photos: Zsuzsanna Nagy / magyarepitok.hu


Stage 1 is set to be completed around August 2021, subject to many administrative and construction issues. During the restoration, we are being especially careful to protect the local bats who have moved into the attic of the Monastery building.

The expansion (Stage 2) will incorporate the erection of a brand-new building adjacent to the Institute, on the site of the current secondary school. The secondary school will stop operation once their new home is finished at the Kecskemét New Campus. Once the building is vacated, it will be demolished as its current physical and technical state is not worth saving.

The new, state-of-the-art wing of the Kodály Institute will be home to an increased capacity Dormitory, a modern Library and Archives, practising rooms and most of all a brand new Concert Hall with a seating capacity of 350. The concert hall will serve not only the needs of the Institute, but those of the city of Kecskemét as well. Design plans are under construction, and once they become approved, we will publish them on this site.

The current building of the Library/Studio/classrooms, the so-called ’Flower-windows’ building has been emptied as well and will be restored in such a way that the street-side facade will be rebuilt as a replica, but all other parts of the building will be constructed from scratch connecting the Monastery building to the new wing.

These three buildings will embrace a closed site where a Kodály Garden will be created, providing a lush area for students to enjoy.

Deadlines are too early to announce, as this is a very complex project with lots of interdependencies. We will continue to move step-by-step and will try to open the new sites as early as possible, and to keep the students and readers posted with all developments.

USEFUL INFORMATION:

Address of the new location of the Institute: 6000 Kecskemét, Kálvin tér 1. (in the same building as the Ráday Museum of the Calvinist Church). The Library and Archives in the monastery building are closed.

The small Kodály Lifework exhibition at the Monastery building (in Kéttemplom köz) can only be visited on weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm. Due to the pandemic restrictions only 6 people at a time are allowed to enter the building. Groups should enquire at office [at] kodaly [dot] hu or +36 76 481 518 before visiting.
We kindly ask visitors to wear face masks and use the hand sanitizer provided at the entrance. 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Please email your enquiries to office [at] kodaly [dot] hu about guided tours with video presentation or for music professionals in the new location of the Institute (Kálvin tér) or phone +36 76 481 518.


Photo album about the move and the renovation: