The Building Complex of CEU as Cultural Heritage

Central European University is housed in a number of historical buildings located in the vicinity of the Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University is highly conscious of the historical value of its building complex and its aim to be a transmitter of heritage to a multicultural society.

CEU’s central philosophy of openness acted as a guiding principle in the planning of its new campus. The central open courtyard is a symbol of this dual commitment to both history and modern academic needs: inspired by the courtyards of typical nineteenth century apartment buildings, the design facilitates communication for a multicultural academic community.

With the support of the CEU Humanities Initiative, CEU’s Cultural Heritage Studies Program has launched a research project about the University’s buildings. The aim is to discover and present the heritage value of the building complex by identifying and reviewing the historical source material and by analyzing the architecture and surrounding urban spatial context.

Reflecting on the social and urban dynamics in the area, the Cultural Heritage Studies Program research project aims to problematize and present the multilayered biography of the buildings in which CEU is currently housed. The goal is to understand the human-nature-built environment interaction in downtown Budapest, to identify the various urban development factors for the area, and to situate the architectural heritage of the CEU building complex in its historical, present-day, and future urban setting.