Open Factory Weekend at the Csepel Works …

… organised by KÉK on 29-30th June 2019 (posted 30 June, 2019)

The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre - KÉK is an independent professional organisation founded in 2006 with the aim of opening new perspectives in architectural and urban thinking in Hungary. This Saturday/Sunday (29-30th June, 2019) KÉK organised an Open Factory Weekend at the Csepel Works. Some twenty factories, manufactures, workshops opened their gates to public. Hundreds of urban explorers, industry and industrial heritage enthusiasts visited the workshops and attended guided tours of KÉK and other programs of the event.

Szoke showroom pic

The Art Studio of Gábor Miklós Szőke -the renowned sculptor famous for his public animal sculptures like the Fradi Eagle, Atlanta Falcon or Horse of Somorja- was open as well. The studio complex comprises of 5 factory buildings of the Csepel Works: some of them were nicely renovated and rebuilt for the purpose of offices, exhibition or event hall; other buildings are used as workshops or stores; and some recently acquired buildings are waiting for renovation and reuse. Gábor and his partner Berta Hauer (Branding & Sales Director) welcomed the appr 50 participants and talked about their projects, how they developed the studio complex and about their future plans. It was nice to see the renovated old buildings, the revitalised brownfield area and to listen the anecdotes of Gábor about his projects.

Szoke warehouse pic

You find more photos of the Art Studio at the Open Factory Weekend here...

Industrial Monument Brewery will be Refurbished …

… in Keszthely from TSDOP fund (posted 19 June, 2019)

The old derelict building of the Reischl Brewhouse is just 800 m South of the Festetics Palace in Keszthely. Though the brewery enjoys an industrial monument status, it’s out of use since decades and constantly degrading. The first buildings of the E-shaped brewery complex were built by Count Pál Festetics around 1770 (architect Kristóf Hofstädter). In 1793 the building was transformed by architect György János Rantz, and significantly extended and upgraded in the second half of the 19th century by Vencel Reischl a master brewer from Bohemia.

Reischl settled down in Keszthely in 1844 and acquired the brewery from the Festetics family in 1864. The Reischl family operated the brewery until 1948, when the brewhouse was nationalised, and the family emigrated the same year. The brewery operated till end of 1950s, from the 1960 a cheesemaker was working in the complex.

Reischl Brewhouse pic

The brewery will be renovated and refurbished from HUF 850 million sourced from the Territorial and Settlement Development Operational Program (TSDOP). From another HUF 250 million TSDOP fund the baroque annexes will be renewed. The renewed Reischl brewhouse will accommodate a craft brewery with pub, restaurant, a business incubator house, offices, community and commercial spaces. The project planned to be finished by end of 2020.

Visualisation of brewhouse pic

You find more photos of the project here. This video shows a short summary of the development.

Historic István Mill in Békéscsaba Burnt Down …

… and might need to be demolished (posted 26 May, 2019)

Tuesday (21st May 2019) afternoon around 5pm the industrial heritage István Mill in Békéscsaba caught fire. The fire was very fierce and large so fire brigades from Békéscsaba and 6 other neighbouring towns were alarmed. Fifteen fire engines and 67 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire. The fire spreaded to a side building and the roof of the mill has collapsed inwards at 18.30. The fire was brought under control by 20.45pm and put out by 22pm. Firefighters have worked extremely hard to prevent the fire spreading to adjacent buildings and hospital.

Békéscsaba István Mill pic

The burnt down historic mill (named after its owner the Rosenthal Mill) was built in 1912 (a 5-storey building), and after a fire in 1915 the mill was upgraded to the current 6-storey building and 7-storey tower (1916). Need to mention, that on the premise of the mill a steam mill had already started operation in 1853, which was acquired by Márton Rosenthal and after several developments became the second biggest steam mill in the countryside of Hungary in the 1890-ies.

The mill was nationalised in 1948 and renamed to István Mill. Machines, rollers were re-equipped and electrified in 1961.  After the change of regime (1989) in Hungary the István Mill was privatised in 1999 and was working until 2005 when it terminated the milling operation. Before the fire the mill was waiting for redevelopment.

Békéscsaba István Mill Burnt Down pic

You find more photos of the fire here. This video shows the mill in 2018. The video here shows the fire.

ICOMOS Awards for exemplary renovations …

… were given to six nominees on 25th April (published 28/04/2019)

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a global non-government organisation, that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world. The Hungarian National Committee of ICOMOS each year acknowledges the exemplary works in the field of monumental protection and restoration.

Budajenő Granary pic

On 25th April 2019 in the Ozora Castle ICOMOS Award was given to four nominees in the category of exemplary restoration: (i) House of Jewish Excellence (a former church, later synagogue in Balatonfüred); (ii) Granary in Budajenő; (iii) Historic Town Hall of Buda; and the (iv) Reformed Church in Gacsály.

The ICOMOS Hungarian National Commitee also awarded the (v) Füzérradvány Castle and the (vi) Szent Lőrinc Church in Nagylózs for the exemplary work in the field of monumental protection.

Budajenő Granary Exhibition pic

The industrial heritage Budajenő Granary and its surrounding was officially inaugurated on 11th April 2019. For the excellent renovation and revitalisation of the granary acknowledgment to: Balázs Csóka architect, Zsolt Vasáros and Sarolta Bihary interior design and decoration of the exhibition, Mónika Buella and Eszter Nagy landscaping.

Eiffel Art Studios will be opened to the public …

… on 14th April 2019 with a Mozart pasticcio (published 11/04/2019)

In August 2015 a Governmental Decree was issued to establish a new art studios and rehearsal centre as well as modernisation of the Hungarian State Opera. The art studios will utilise the disused building of the Eiffel Workshop, built between 1883-1886 based on the plans of János Feketeházy (1842-1927).

Feketeházy was working for two decades for the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) and designed most railway bridges built before the First World War, platform hall of the Keleti Railway Station, railway turntables as well as the Liberty Bridge and the roofing of the Opera House. The industrial monument Eiffel Workshop (a former locomotive repair and maintenance facility) is situated on the same 22 hectares premise of the Northern Train Maintenance Depot where the Hungarian Museum of Transport will be relocated.

Eiffel Workshop pic

The 5-nave, 22,000 sqm Eiffel Workshop and two auxiliary buildings on a 6,7 hectares area will be the base of the rehearsal, production and storage centre of the Opera.

The entire complex will encompass an auditorium with 400 seats, a rehearsal stage of the same size as the stage of the Opera House, a music studio suitable for recordings, warehouses for theatre sets and props as well as for costumes, nine workshops, 200 parking spaces, training and office facilities and a visitor center.

The opening performance will be Mozart’s pasticcio (performances sewn together from excerpts from multiple musical works) from two fragmentary comedies L'oca del Cairo and Lo sposo deluso.

Eiffel Art Studios inside pic

You find more information on the website of the Hungarian State Opera.

Industrial Heritage Paprika Mill Caught Fire …

… in Kalocsa in the afternoon hours 27-03-2019 (posted 29 March, 2019)

Wednesday (27th March 2019) afternoon just before 4pm the industrial heritage paprika mill in Kalocsa caught fire. The fire was very fierce so fire brigades from Kalocsa, Solt and Kiskörös were alarmed and were working together to extinguish the fire. Fine ground paprika stocks and some heritage paprika milling machines were damaged. The firefighters put out the fire by 7pm. The origin of the fire was likely the dust filters, fire investigations are in progress.

Kalocsa Paprika Mill pic

Kalocsa is famous for its embroidery, and it is also best known for the Hungarian paprika. The ground paprika from Kalocsa is also a Hungarikum. The first paprika mill in Kalocsa was built in 1861 and in 1900 already 3 mills were working in the town. The mill that caught fire was built in the early 1900s and has a nicely decorated facade.

Paprika Roller Mill pic

You find more photos of the Paprika Mill on the website of Kalohí

Diller Scofidio + Renfro won competition …

… to design the new Hungarian Museum of Transport (posted 01 March, 2019)

In December 2017 the Hungarian Government decided to relocate the Hungarian Museum of Transport from Városliget (City Park) to the premise of the disused Northern Train Maintenance Depot in Kőbánya (10th district of Budapest). Northern (Railway) Workshop, the predecessor of the Northern Train Maintenance Depot was among the first railway workshops of Hungary, which started operation in 1867. It’s most noteworthy building the so-called Eiffel Workshop (built between 1883-1886) will be utilised as art studios and rehearsal centre of the Hungarian State Opera.

The Museum of Transport will move into the Diesel Hall (built in 1962), another 22,000 sqm large workshop. To design the museum building and amenities an international design competition was announced on August 9, 2018. Thirteen Hungarian and international architectural firms submitted entries in the second round of the two-stage competition.

Diesel Hall pierpic

The award ceremony took place in the Diesel Hall on 28 February 2019. The winner of the competition was Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The world-famous American firm has designed several museums and brownfield redevelopments worldwide, one of their most famous works is the New York High Line.

The second prize went to the consortium of Reichen et Robert & Associés (FR), Ralph Appelbaum Associates (US) and PLANT Atelier Kis Péter (HU). The third prize was given to Építész Stúdió Kft and Honorary mentions were awarded to gmp International GmbH (DE), and a consortium of Foster & Partners (UK) and CÉH Zrt. (HU).

Visualisation pic

Assuming everything is on schedule the New Museum of Transport can be opened after 2022. You can see more visualisation of the plan here.

Budajenő Granary saved and received award …

… Facade of the Year 2018 on 8th November 2018 (posted 16 November 2018)

Austrian construction company Baumit created Facade of the Year Award to acknowledge outstanding facades constructed in Hungary. The competition for the Facade of the Year 2018 received 286 submissions from architects and general contractors in five categories: Single Family Home, Apartment Building and Non-Residential, and the two categories of Thermal Refurbishment and Monument Renovation. In the historic renovation category, the jury received and evaluated 35 entries. The winner of the Monument Renovation category was the Granary in Budajenő, the work of Balázs Csóka architect. He also received Pro Architectura award for this renovation few weeks before (on 24th October 2018).

Budajenő Granary pic

The granary was built end of the 18th century and was part of the manor of the Benedictines. In the Second World War it was seriously damaged, and the rear part of the building was torn down. During the communist era the granary was utilised for warehousing and manufacturing purposes, continuously degrading. After the change of regime (1989) it became an agricultural monument in 2005. Renovation works started in 2015 and completed in 2018. The ground floor will be utilised for conference and exhibition purposes. The second floor will function as a Youth & Pilgrim Hostel, the third flour and attic will host a permanent exhibition.

Drought revealed Margit Bridge central pier foundation…

… which you could walk around (posted 26 October, 2018)

In the past few weeks the water level of the Danube was extremely low in Hungary. Today morning (26 October 2018) in Budapest the water level was only 45 cm. (Till these days the lowest Danube level in Budapest was measured in 1947 at 51 cm). On many sections of the Danube the river bed became exposed. This happened to the central pier of Margit Bridge which you could walk around with dry shoes.

Margit Bridge pierpic

You could also go through the tunnel in the pier, which is usually under water. The tunnel has no function. When the bridge was built between 1872-1876 two cofferdams were used for the central pier another 2-2 for the two abutments and single cofferdams for the other four piers. The 2-2 piers of the central pillar (and the abutments) were connected by an arch, thus formed the tunnel. Between 1935-1937 the bridge and the piers were extended to the south direction.

Margit Bridge pier tunnel pic

European Heritage Days in Hungary…

… will be held on 15-16 September, 2018 (posted 27 August, 2018)

European Heritage Days (Kulturális Örökség Napjai) will be on 15-16 September, 2018 (SAT-SUN). In Hungary some 300 heritage sites, buildings, museums can be visited, including a dozen of industrial heritage facilities. Though most of the guided tours are available in Hungarian only, there are some tours in English as well. You can find English tours and programs here.

Heritage Days pic

In Budapest, the industrial heritage tours will conducted in Hungarian language except the Wekerle Walks. Places are open to visit: Underground Museum, Lechner Competence Center (former Tobacco Factory), Martsa Stone Carver Workshop, Wekerle Estate.

Ybl Pump House renovation finished...

… and got a new function as an exhibition hall (posted 23 May, 2018)

The elegant neo-Renaissance pump house designed by Miklós Ybl was built between 1875 and 1879. The pump station provided water supply for the Castle and from 1881 also for the Castle District. Unfiltered water was taken out directly from the Danube and was pumped through an artificial gravel bed deposited in an underground cistern system. Pumps were driven by steam engines, and the chimney of the boiler room was hidden in a nicely decorated tower. The pumping station ceased operation in 1905 and the building was used as concert hall, ball room or banquet hall. In WW2 the pump house suffered severe damage. In 1992 the building was renovated and worked as a casino for some 15 years.

Ybl pump house pic

In 2016 the Ybl Pump House was acquired (for 10.5 million euros) by PADI Pallas Athéné Domus Innovationis, foundation of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB). According to the plans it would have been renovated from 600 million Forint and would’ve been reopened for public in autumn 2017. Finally, the building was handed over 18th May 2018, and restoration costs reached near 1 billion Forint.

Ybl pump house cafe pic

The pump house received a new function as an exhibition hall and was reopened under the name Ybl Creative House Buda. The nicely restored building contains exhibition halls, community spaces and a richly decorated cafe with a terrace.

Ybl pump house ceiling pic

The ceiling of the terrace is decorated with scgraffito technique, a masterpiece of Róbert Scholtz. The stairway to the basement level contains a pixelated portrait of Miklós Ybl, artwork of Zsolt Áron Majoros.

Ybl pump house portrait pic

The opening exhibition displays the sculptures of Gábor Miklós Szőke a talented and creative artist famous for his bird’s sculptures. The exhibition closes 10 June 2018. Here you can see more photos and visit the website of Ybl Creative House Buda.

66 m tall chimney demolished today ...

… in a controlled explosion in Győr (posted 23 March, 2018)

Today (23 March 2018) at 11am the 66 m tall chimney of the former oil factory in Győr was demolished in a controlled explosion. Originally it was planned to be demolished end of November 2016, but several architects and locals demanded to save it as the last iconic remnant of the oil factory.

The brick chimney expanded by a water tank was built in 1911 and though it was not listed as an industrial monument many notable architects argued to save it.

Győr oil factory chimney pic

Győr oil factory chimney demolition pic

You can see more photos and a video of the explosion.

World Water Day 22th March, 2018…

… excellent opportunity to see the Kőbánya Water Reservoir (posted 19 March, 2018)

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. The day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in developing countries. The day also focuses on advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

On the World Water Day, and on 23-24 March as well, the Budapest Waterworks opens the Kőbánya Water Reservoir. You can visit the reservoir with registration only, on 22 March and 23 March morning hours. From 23 March afternoon you can visit the reservoir without registration. The reservoir is a masterpiece of brickworks, well worth a visit.

Kőbánya Water Reservoir pic

You can see more information and photos of the Kőbánya Water Reservoir

Industrial Heritage Warehouse Caught Fire …

… in Budapest in the morning hours 07-03-2018 (posted 07 March, 2018)

Today (7th March 2018) morning the warehouse building of the industrial monument Concordia Mill caught fire. Concordia Mill was built in 1866 and was the first of the five steam mills on Soroksári út, in Ferencváros.

Thirteen fire engines and 45 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire. Since the warehouse was in an office and residential area and very close to Zwack distillery firemen were fighting bravely to put out the fire.

Concordia Mill Fire pic

It’s worth to mention that in its history the mill had burnt down 3 times (in 1892, 1902 and 1923). You find here more pictures on the fire.

Open Days of EU Developments 2018…

… between 1-31 March all over Hungary (posted 2 March, 2018)

Open Days of EU Developments will take place between 1-31 March in Hungary. On these open days several castles, visitor centres, spa complexes, museums, thematic parks all over the country offer programs and guided visits, many times for free or at discounted price.
Those venues participate in the program which were developed with the aid of EU funds.

Two noteworthy brownfield rehabilitation projects are also among the venues: the National Film History Theme Park (Fúvógépház) together with Digital Power Plant in Ózd and the Reptár Aviation Museum in Szolnok.

Blowing Engine House pic

Digital Power Plant Outside pic

Digital Power Plant Inside pic

Indóház pic

Reptár Museum pic

The official page of the Open Days of EU Developments is here.

In the Spotlight

Buda Roller Mill (Budai Hengermalom)

... in the Spotlight in 03/2018 (posted:27/03/2018)

The history of steam mills in Budapest started in 1839, when the Pesti Hengermalom Részvénytársaság (Pest Roller Mill plc) was established based on the proposition of Count István Széchenyi, who was also a shareholder of the company. Though the first steam-driven mill in Hungary was put in operation in 1836 in Sopron, actually, the Pest Roller Mill was the first steam mill using state of the art machinery of cylindrical rollers (the mill in Sopron was using traditional stone milling technology).

The Pest Roller Mill was built on an estate between 1839-1841 in Lipótváros, which was mostly an industrial area that time, and in the following decades another six mills were put in operation in Lipótváros and Újlipótváros. The Pest Roller Mill was standing just few hundred meters NE from the Parliament building (built 1885-1904). Since Budapest was growing fast around the Millennium, the factories, steam mills in the area had to cease operation and they were closed down or moved to other locations.

In 1907 the shareholders’ meeting of the Pest Roller Mill plc decided to build a new roller mill on the Buda side at Lágymányos, which was an unused, underdeveloped area at the turn of the century. The flour mill was constructed between 1909-1910 and commenced full-scale operation in 1911. The same year the mill in Lipótváros was demolished.

Budai Roller Mill pic

The mill was using the most up-to-date technology and grain was stored in steel reinforced concrete silos designed by Szilárd Zielinski.

Due to high construction and investments costs, and the decline of the mill industry in the 1910s, the Hengermalom mill was partially (1916) then fully acquired by Első Budapesti Gőzmalom Részvénytársaság and merged into it in 1928.

The mill was nationalised in 1948 and was in operation as a state-owned company under the name of Budai Malom (Buda Mill). After the change of regime (1989) in Hungary the Budai Malom was privatised in the 1990s and was working as Budai Malomipari Kft. until 2005 when it terminated the milling operation. Currently the buildings of the mill are utilised for office and warehousing purposes.

See more photos here...