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  • The Dignity of Everyday Reality

    Food Store, Budapest, Tűzoltó Street

    Architect: Géza Kendik
    Text: Eszter Götz
    Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

    Launched before the change of the political system, the rehab project of Ferencváros is one of those that Budapest may be proud of. As a result of clever decisions, this ruinous and slumming area has been gradually facelifted for three decades now. These days the metamorphosis of Central Ferencváros has reached the next stage: a department store of a food store chain has been opened in the reconstructed riding hall of the former Maria Theresa (later on Kilián) Barracks. The hall with its typically atmospheric and wonderful brick architecture evokes the era of the dual monarchy. It had housed a favourite second hand furniture store of the capital, which was closed soon after the change of the political system, and had been continuously deteriorating. The local government of Ferencváros sold it to the new owners on condition that the structure enjoying local protection of monuments must not be demolished, and it could only be remodelled. However, we can see only now that the designs involved a minimal degree of intervention in a clear and puritan way: the mass, the structure and the facade of the riding hall has been restored to its old glory and beauty, whilst the single-space department store it houses offers food at discount prices for city-dwellers living nearby.

    General design: Studio A4 Iroda Kft.
    Leading architect: Géza Kendik
    Fellow architects: Viola Dóczy, Péter Veszelik, Dániel Salamon, Kristóf Horváth
    Structure: Viktor László – Konstruaterv Kft.
    Installations: Benedek Végh – Econix Kft.
    Road and public utilities: János Grőb, Zoltán Vida – Kulterv Bt.
    Landscape: Márta Preszler – PM Garden
    Client: Hofer Magyarország Ingatlan Kft.
    Main contractors: STETTIN-HUNGÁRIA KFT. (magasépítés), Gebrüder HAIDER Kft. (mélyépítés)