The building is Gábor Turányi's first independent work made in 1981, for which he received the Ybl prize, Hungary’s most prestigious architectural award. He worked at the ÁÉTV (Általános Épülettervező Vállalat, the General Building Design Company) at the time, which ”seemed to be a fairly terrible place” according to Turányi. However, the lead engineer was an excellent architect, Jenő Rimanóczy.”There are exceptional architectural tasks here, they’re just called police stations, headquarters for the political party, or prisons,” he said. So the building needs to be interpreted in this context.
- leading architect: Gábor TURÁNYI
- cooperating architect: Zoltánné GULYÁS
- year of design/construction: 1981/1982-83
- photography: Magyar Építőművészet 1984/3.
The building is located on the bank of Lake Balaton, the biggest lake in Central Europe. It consists of existing and newly built elements that result in an interesting pentagonal structure. Considering its style, we can discover signs of the socialist realistic, organic and postmodern trends as well.
Critics at the time stated that both the American and the Italian schools have influenced the architect. Contrary to previous trends the building doesn’t try to be an object, it refers to the traditional vernacular architecture. With its white facades, red tile pitched roof and emphasised joists it reacts to the traditional architecture of the Balaton Uplands. Its masses and detailing do not follow a concrete philosophy, it is sort of haphazard, which may remind us of Robert Venturi’s theory about old buildings. He said that we tend to like them because of their faults, the additions and their non-planned-ness. As we, the people using them, are not perfect, we like to discover the faults in them, the things that make them human. This building tried to achieve that, and despite the fact that the critics of the architectural profession did not praise it, the people using the building surely liked it. Unfortunately, these days it is out of use and its condition is deteriorating quickly.
text/translation: Bence LÉSTYÁN