Katona József Library - Kecskemét

In 1985 an invitation based design competition was called to realize the county ranking József Katona library building, which was expanded to the nearby area civic design and architecture proposal too. The application and the commission were won by Peter Mátrai, and György Major also joined to him during the work.

  • leading architects: Péter MÁTRAI, György MAJOR - Iparterv Épülettervező Zrt.
  • cooperating architects: Róbert FÜLÖPP, Miklós PÉTERFFY
  • year of design/construction: 1986-1989, 1993-1995/1994-1996
  • photography: © Péter WALTER, © Szilárd BORSOS

The original concept was on outer building frame (with reading and serving rooms) build on the existing street lines, according to the perimetric development method and an independent auditorium building set up into the inside of the courtyard. Later the conception transformed a little to go by the claims of the contractor and the technology of libraries. We can read more about the dreams and compromises of the designers from them:

„The building which you can walk around harmonically fits into the townscape of Kecskemét. The layout is functionally separated into three pieces (head – thorax – abdomen), appears as one peace from outside. The „head” contains the lounge with gallery which is fully opened, the auditorium for 180 people and the café. In the „thorax” you can find the open-shelfed reading areas: the kids’ library, the journal reader, the multimedia storage downstairs, the catalog room and the loan stock on the first floor, the reading-, seminary- and research rooms of collection for intense reading and searching on the second floor. The “abdomen” is the server part of the library with the offices of the librarians, workshops, compact book storages and rooms for building engineering.” /Magyar Építőipar/

In the program of the „Family library” got laureate roles to create the kids’ library, a music area and multifunctional areas, and to build the than exemplary computer library network and to satisfy the handicapped people. The atmosphere of the building is defined by the thoughtful architectural details, unique furniture and the harmony of the used colors.

In 1997 the building was rewarded with the Prize „Library of the Year”, Péter Mátrai, György Major architects and Imre Batta interior designer were rewarded with the “Pro Architectura” Trophy.

translation: Eszter BUJDOSÓ




  • Pro Architectura Award, 1997
  • "Library of the year" Award, 1997