SDAC studio architecture || planning || structural design || energy efficiency || passive house0040256227061

New Millenium Reformed Center – Calvinist Church

Project: Place of worship
Client: New Millenium Reformed Center Timisoara
Location: Timisoara
Area: 1360 sqm
Project team: Bata Tibor, Opeion Serv, Yurta, Boros Iosif, SDAC studio
Responsibilities: design, quality assurance

…I would like to start at the beginning. I would like to say that a church, the building with the people in it and the particulars of the rituals, do not illustrate anything. A church is not a simile. A church, in this sense, should not be ” beautiful”. We should reexamine certain basic concepts. For instance that the church is the house of God. If anyone were to take this seriously, even for a moment, whether he sits in church with many others or in solitude, he would have to fall on his knees, or better yet, he’d have to fall down on the floor with his face to the ground in the fashion of friars. I cannot take anything else as my starting point except this.

Imre Makovecz


The ensemble of The New Millenium Reformed Center is made up of 7 distinct parts, the main building being the church. The work was based on plans by Imre Makovecz, the central figure of Hungarian organic architecture who created an eye catching trademark piece of architecture with unique appearance located on the Bega river bank in Timisoara.

Sprouting from organic walls of reinforced concrete, the lattice wood roof is spread out over the church like the canopy of the tree line around a clearing. An oculus – a recurrent theme in Imre Makovecz’s architecture inspired by nomad people’s yurts – provides not only light, illumination, but is the link between the Earth and the Heavens.

From the busy street, through a an intimate square dominated by the main, monumental entrance with zoomorphic towers, the nave and choir of the church can host up to 635 people. The lighting and use of warm colours, the gigantic wooden roof give a strong and memorable impression to all visitors – the feeling of divine domination transcends ages.

The underlying concept was to build a unique and exceptional structure due to its own inner logic and clean static system, integrating the rational tendency of contemporary cultural architecture with more complex forms and structures in an innovative manner.

Our main objective was to design according to Imre Makovecz’s original plans, introducing current thermal and acoustic requirements, as well as adapting to the technologies at hand at the time of the build.