From Interior Design to National Identity: Insights from the Yugoslav, Hungarian, and Austrian Rooms

From Interior Design to National Identity: Insights from the Yugoslav, Hungarian, and Austrian Rooms

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Event Status
As Scheduled
Dr. Eva Lovra

The fundamental interconnectedness of all things: Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning

The interior of a building gives hints about what the building itself can be like. What form, construction period, architectural style determines the image it shows. This lecture seeks to find connections between the designing principles of three of the Nationality and Heritage Rooms of the Cathedral of Learning: the Yugoslav, the Hungarian, and the Austrian Rooms, and finds them in the interior design solutions. Three different rooms and three different nations, the connection between them is not apparent. It becomes more evident when we consider that from the 19th century until the early 20th century, some areas of the three countries were not part of a nation state, but of a multinational empire, Habsburg Central Europe. On the other hand, it’s also interesting to note that the design in two of the rooms (the Hungarian and the Yugoslav Rooms) is the imprint of the nation states that emerged after the First World War (Serbia, Hungary, Austria).

In this presentation we will look at:
- the distinction between nationality and ethnicity and how these two notions are represented or rather underrepresented in the Yugoslav architecture and the Yugoslav Nationality and Heritage Room, which was built in 1939 and designed based on the folk traditions in the then Yugoslav Monarchy
- the connections between folk and neo-baroque in Hungarian art, emphatically in architectural design and music. The close analysis of the designing principles of the folk-themed Hungarian Room (built in 1939) will show how the twenty-year period of becoming a nation state after being part of a multinational empire, brought an increased presence of neo-baroque and modern elements in Hungarian architecture and music. Palpable influences in the works of émigré art, music, and architecture. Béla Bartók’s work preserving and incorporating the Hungarian folk music tradition in his compositions.
3. Last but not least, the presentation show us the unique characteristics of the Austrian room (built in 1996 but designed in 1976). For instance, the way it imitates the architectural style of the period and the Esterházy Palace, where Haydnsaal, or Joseph Haydn's music hall is located. The location in and of itself deserves an elaborate examination: the other palace of the Hungarian prince, Prince Nicolas Esterhazy, the Esterházy Palace, the "Hungarian Versailles" is Hungary's grandest Rococo edifice, located in Eszterháza, today's Fertőd, Hungary.
In summary, the lecture examines the connections between nationality and ethnicity, neobaroque and rococo in architecture and interior design.

Dr. Éva Lovra holds a Ph.D. in Architectural Sciences and has conducted postdoctoral research at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and at the University of Novi Sad. She is a senior lecturer/adjunct professor at the University of Debrecen's Department of Civil Engineering, teaches in the English-language Urban Systems Engineering M.Sc. program, and serves as a lecturer and doctoral supervisor at the Doctoral School of Earth Sciences.

In-Person event
Hungarian Nationality Room
Event Type
Add to My Calendar