An international hotel management company seeks to establish a 110-room, five-star hotel in the heart of Budapest, in two adjacent corner buildings built in the 19th century. All arcitectural and consultants' drawings was completed in cooperation with the Barcelona-based design agency Capella García Arquitectos (CGA). Spanish interior designs required coordination as well. Even though this highly complex process ended with the granting of a binding building permit and with detailed designs suitable for implementation, the economic turmoil of 2008 and 2009 brought the project to a standstill. It was the conflict between innovative solutions for hotel functions and the features of a historic building that made the assignment especially interesting. In the course of the long planning process, I created each document together with architect Ádám Sylvester. The project was re-designed in 2015. Following a rather convoluted building permit procedure, Market Zrt. began construction in March 2018. This pair of 19th-century buildings, restored and converted multiple times throughout its history, exhibits fierce resistance against radical changes. The contractor works at an extremely slow pace, the handover could easily be delayed for years.
Located at the intersection of Krúdy Gyula utca and Mikszáth tér, in a neighborhood locally known as Palotanegyed (literally Palace Quarter), at the heart of Budapest's District 8. Functioning both as a coffee shop and a photo gallery and opening onto a gorgeous downtown square, this nook is for regulars. The single-cell interior of a mere 30 sq m initially featured an undivided customer and service area at street level, sometimes also working as a completely neutral black-and-white backdrop to the artwork on display. My only task was to design a staircase and a mezzanine level, which, in addition to being used as storage space, also houses a coffee roasting machine. Later I redesigned the place and it was really reconstructed several times. Yet again in 2018 we designed a small café and bistro (!) over two levels, which now welcomes guests from spring to late autumn with three tables and a bar indoors, as well as 15 outdoor tables. For the winter months Lumen has no choice but to officially retract indoors, but that doesn’t affect its popularity as guests continue to flock here and are happy to stand outside even in heavy snowfall.
Horváth Mihály tér, Budapest, District 8. An external addition to the eccentric watering hole Zsiga Bár, this booth measures approximately 2x6 meters and has a ceiling height of about 2.5 meters. A wooden structure built from scrapped doors and windows salvaged in the area, its roof is clad with metal sheets and features some accented moldings. With an ambiance that of a quirky theater stage set, Zsiga’s pavilion feels as though it has been here forever. Born of a unique idea and staying as far away from mass consumption as possible, it has found its organic place in the microcosm of Horváth Mihály tér. In 2018 the City Council had this graceful little kiosk demolished, shutting down Zsiga in the process.