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...