Nestled in an elegant Buda street is this pre-war villa that has been preserved in near original condition, where a charming apartment had to be created as part of a loft conversion. Now complete with an exclusive new balcony on the south side, the resulting living space provides plenty of indoor comfort while seamlessly integrating both into the art deco design of the facade that is visible from the street and into the neighborhood itself. The construction permit procedure took place at a time when the legislature was busy harmonizing the ‘simplified residential building notification’ and ‘townscape notification’ processes with conventional permit procedures in Hungarian public administration. This has yet to be implemented without hiccups, but in this particular case local authorities were absolutely puzzled in deciding whether the planned development constituted an expansion. The construction finished, the owner uses the apartment.
An international hotel management company established a 110-room, five-star hotel in the heart of Budapest, in two adjacent corner buildings built in the 19th century. Under local zoning regulations, planes of the original roof must be preserved. We have opted for a historically faithful restoration of facades despite the fact that none of these buildings are actually landmark-protected. Originally used as the Embassy of Austria, the corner building located at Akadémia utca 17 received a small extension and a full restoration of its ornate triple gate, thereby regaining its Empire splendor. The other building, situated at the corner of Akadémia utca and Steindl Imre utca, was initially built as a condominium, and now fits seamlessly into its surroundings thanks to a complete reconstruction and insulation of its facades. In both buildings, inner facades were restored largely based on original blueprints and given cutting-edge thermal insulation. I worked in this project alongside fellow architect Ádám Sylvester from 2008 through 2020.
Unremarkable in both character and quality, this is a festooned tenement house built in Art Deco style. A run-of-the-mill member of Budapest eclecticism, it still features excellent proportions, avant-corps and a sense of boldness. As such, a reconstruction and restoration of near-original conditions is highly recommended. This desolate building is a perfect example of what decades of physical and financial neglect can cause when paired with utter cultural barbarism. As if major historical events (such as Budapest’s siege of 1944 and the Revolution of 1956) had not been enough. The images presented here feature some of the key pages of the design documentation submitted as part of the so-called ‘townscape notification procedure’, providing a rough overview of the design process: 1: current state, 2: line drawing of current state, 3 and 4f: detailed facade analysis, 5: line drawing of designed state, 6: colour scheme, 7: detail drawings. The plan was prepared in 2018, the implementation is ongoing during the summer of 2020.