A superb example of late Art Nouveau architecture designed by Aladár ÁRKAY (1913), this Church synthesises the architectural trends of the turn of the century and international influences. A central layout (in the shape of a Greek cross) influenced by American evangelist churches is representative of the new Protestant church type which had spread primarily throughout German speaking territories. The reinforced concrete structure clearly utilises the possibilities and characteristics of the new material as opposed to the more commonly employed arches which recall medieval forms. The organisation of space reveals the influence of Finnish National Romanticism, the black and gold colours are the heavily emphasized geometric ornaments suggest the presence of the Wiener Werkstätte. Forms originating from Hungarian folk art interconnect and unify, appearing - in Árkay´s unique, abstract interpretation - on the carved wooden gates, the stained-glass windows, the ceramic tiles decorating the portal, the patterns of the wall-paintings and the surrounding fence. The entire building is still intact, including the interior. Several apartments are also contained within the church building for the use of the pastors. The adjacent college was built in the same style fifteen years later. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
© Rácz Jolán, KÖH
The Hotel Palace is one of the finest Budapest examples of the architects Marcell KOMOR and Dezsö JAKAB in 1910. It is characterised by an idiosyncratic interpretation of LECHNER´s architectural heritage. A simplification of Lechner´s architectural language was often used in parallel with elements drawn from other architectural styles. The secret of the architects´ popularity can be found in the excellent planning and structure of their buildings, as well as the general accessibility of their style. The facade of the hotel introduces an array of ceramic and plaster ornament, roof and balcony shapes, wrought-iron work and wood carvings; the inventory of the playful world of the duo's. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
© Horváth Edina, KÖH
Sándor BAUMGARTEN, as architect of the Cultural Ministry, designed and built hundreds of school buildings throughout the country. Following his collaboration with Ödön LECHNER, Baumgarten carried out projects in the manner of his master, using sinuous and decorative brick columns and divisions.
Consequently Baumgarten became the most prolific adherent and propagator of Lechner´s architectural style. Among his most significant buildings in Budapest is the School for the Blinds (1899-1904), which represents a transition between Neo-Gothic architecture and Lechner´s style. The interior design, especially the assembly hall and its stained-glass windows which numbers amonst the largest continuous painted glass surfaces in Hungary, are certainly worth a closer look. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
© Papp Tímea, KÖH
The Institute, designed by Ödön LECHNER and built by Sándor HAUSZMANNN, serves the same function since its opening since 1899 - this naturally contributed to the conservation of the original appearance in a relatively intact state. The magnificent roof of ZSOLNAY tiles shining in several shades of blue can be overviewed from the roof terrace of the back annex of the building. One can feel the Oriental atmosphere inside the building: in the foyer, the stairways and the corridors. The way Lechner takes out motives from the small-scale world of embroidery and carving and shapes them into monumental spatial elements while preserving their original character is the culminating point of his brilliant style creation. (Source: Art Nouveau in Hungarian Way, Ödön Lechner, 1845-1914, Kulturális Örökségvédelmi Hivatal, 2004)
© Horváth Edina, KÖH
The building is the master-work of Béla LAJTA´s early career (1908), illustrating the unity between Northern-European tradition and the Hungarian search for National Architecture based upon vernacular traditions. Biblical quotations set amongst folk art motives are carved on the wooden entrance gate, making them accessible to blind children. The gates, gate-rails, terrazzo-facings, carved wooden roof details preserve the architect´s special decorative style. The homogeneous brick-facing allows the integration of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements within one monumental unity. The entrance is a parabolic arch, a motif repeated in certain of the windows. Use of this motif was widespread throughout Scandinavia and in Hungary. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
Today it is the Center for Children and Young People with Disabilities.
© Bartha Levente
The building is a unique masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture, a prime example of the endeavours of late 19th-century architecture to create a distinctive Hungarian style. The museum, founded by the Hungarian parliament in 1872, was the third museum of applied art in the world. The building, designed by Ödön LECHNER and Gyula PÁRTOS, opened to the public in 1896 as the closing event of the millennium celebrations of Hungarian state foundation. Its solutions clearly reflect Lechner´s effort to create an unmistakably Hungarian style of architecture by incorporating features of Oriental architecture and Hungarian folk arts into the dominant European style.
The magnificent green and yellow ZSOLNAY tiles of its roof and dome make the Museum of Applied Arts a popular and striking landmark on Budapest´s skyline. (Source: Szabó Virág: Szeretettel vár az Iparmüvészeti Múzeum, 2010)
© Horváth Edina, KÖH
The Palace of the Gresham Insurance Company (the latter Apartment and Retail Complex) was the most luxurious apartment development in the capital, built with the utmost precision and level of luxury directly upon the axis of the Lánchíd (Chain Bridge). The designers were Zsigmond QUITTNER and József VÁGÓ; the sculptural ornamentation is the work of Géza MARÓTI, Ede TELCS, Miklós LIGETI, Ede MARGÓ and Szigfrid PONGRÁCZ. The stain-glass windows of the staircase opening from sky-lit passages were designed and carried out by Miksa RÓTH. The whole building is characterised by the three dimensional, sculptural handling of novelly formed elements. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
Today it functions as a Four Seasons Hotel.
© Hack Róbert, KÖH
The architect of the Bedö House was Emil VIDOR (1903). The palace (apartment house) of the art collector, Béla BEDÖ is an elegant example of French taste and was built behind surrounding conservative, or Vienna-style buildings. To the varied and lively, playful facade reminiscent of French and Belgian Art Nouveau, Vidor added the well-balances Jugendstil elements of Munich - such as the horizontal stripes on the plaster facade and the ceramic figures on the top of the balconies. The use of split levels is unusual in city buildings and harmonious organisations of the various decorative elements and building materials prove Vidor's unbelievable designing and constructing abilities. The stain-glassed windows of the staircase that have remained intact are especially valuable, as are the protected interior decorations and the sole survivor of the original three wrought-iron shop front. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
Its ground-floor is today the home of The House of Hungarian Art Nouveau where a permanent exhibition and a café is to be found.
© Papp Tímea, KÖH
The facade of the school designed by Ármin HEGEDÜS in 1906, richly ornamented with undulating ribbons of brick and mosaic friezes guarantees it a place amongst the most beautiful schools of the capital of Hungary. The mosaics, by Zsigmond VAJDA, depict children's game from the turn of the century. The interior layout - including the furnishing - conform to expectations of healthy living habits and contemporary pedagogical principles. The architect saw these elements, and architecture itself, as important components of children's education. (Source: Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
© Papp Tímea, KÖH
Centuries ago thermal springs gushing forth at the foot of Gellért Hill created a muddy hollow where today´s baths are located. The first the open-air bath was named, for its muddy waters, Sárosfürdö (Muddy Bath).
In 1894, when construction of the Francis Joseph, later Szabadság (Liberty) Bridge commenced, the government expropriated and subsequently demolished the bath building. In 1902 the municipality of Budapest acquired ownership of the springs from the treasury and started to prepare a project for the construction of a new baths.
The actual construction of today´s Gellért Baths began in 1911 and the building, named St Gellért Medicinal Baths and Hotel, was inaugurated on 26 September 1918. The architects were Artúr SEBESTYÉN, Ármin HEGEDÜS and Izidor STERK.
The real attraction of this building, considering the many alterations undergone by the hotel, is the thermal bath still capable of evoking the milieu of the Hotel´s construction. Alongside those baths remaining from the Turkish period, the Saint Gellért Baths is one of the most internationally well known and most popular medicinal baths in Budapest. The exotic splendour, the glazed tiles and mosaics glittering with magnificent colour effects in a fabulous atmosphere heightened by the clouds of steam render the building a peerless gem of the bath architecture fashionable of the turn of the century. Although the architects began their careers under Ödön LECHNER´s influence, the master´s presence can no longer be discerned in this work. The main entrance, the corners and the bath entrance are crowned by baroque-like domes. Floral folk art motives decorate the entire building and reflect the geometricising tendencies of the ?Wiener Werkstätte?. The colourful and imposing 74-metre-long entrance hall covered by an arched glass roof - the transversal axis of the symmetrical ground-plan - evokes the atmosphere of Roman thermal baths. The whole complex is characterised by the abundance of a highly varied detail: the amazingly exquisite world of late Art Nouveau blends with the Neo-Baroque.(Sources: Csaba Meskó: Thermal baths, Our Budapest, 1998 and Budapest Architectural guide - 20th century, 6Bt, 1997)
© Horváth Edina, KÖH
Designed by Dezso ZRUMECZKY, the school was built over a two year period (1911-1912).
It was built in the last peaceful years before WWI, and so was the Városmajor Utcai Primary School, designed by Károly KÓS, the leader of this turn of the century movement using folk elements, to which Zrumeczky belonged as well.
Specific attention was paid to the design of certain common spaces and the ergonomics of school equipment and furnishings including the playground, students' desks, retractable chalk boards, and teachers' desks.
The first classes started on September 7, 1912 in 16 classrooms, the facilities included a gymnasium, a staff room, a medical office and dispensary, a three-room nursery, as well as residences for the principal, janitor and nursery attendant.
During WWI it served as a military hospital, and during WWII, bombs destroyed the whole west wing. After extensive internal and external renovations, the building has regained its original character. Modifications included the construction of a stage, an inner load-bearing wall and the replacement of the original wood fence with a metal one.
Modernization efforts in the 1990's included the construction of dining rooms for students and teachers, upgrading the heating systems, electrical wiring and building insulation. The most extensive renovation occurred in 1995 when the lower and upper schools merged. As a result of the expansion, five new classrooms, a library, a weights room, physics and chemistry preparatory rooms and laboratories and studios were added.
We are very fond of our school and guard it zealously, as a safe harbour for those who come here to be guided and enlightened. The quaint architecture that houses the most modern facilities is a reminder of the importance of our heritage as we forge into the future, espousing new ideas, rediscovering traditional ones, while fostering the talents of all who work and play here.
© Hack Róbert, KÖH