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  • Perspectives of Architecture in Provincial Hungary

    Remodelling a Residential Building, Tokaj-Hegyalja

    Architect: András Füzes
    Consultant: Ferenc Salamin
    Text: Gábor Erhardt
    Photos: András Füzes


    The owner of the old residential building in Tokaj-Hegyalja, who is a leading figure of the wine region, commissioned architect András Füzes to remodel it so as to include a café on the street side besides the apartments by utilizing the existing parts of the building which were worth retaining, by adding another storey whilst preserving the original character of the development. Functional units of the building are thus nicely distinguishable, organised around a stairway positioned in a pivot point. In association with an EU project application, the café was converted into a coffee-roaster manufactory to fit the criteria of the „developing tourist attractions” category of the tender whilst the apartments were transformed into exhibition rooms and auxiliary spaces during the design phase. The architectural formula is thus a clear one free of compromises. Four walls with four openings as well as the roofing of the existing building have been preserved besides the wooden ceiling of the existing structure whilst the street front now bears this faculty as an inscription, and even the café retained the original spaces (to function now as the showroom of the coffee roasting manufactory). The walls upstairs do not follow the design of openings on the ground-floor, which is a deliberate choice. They are also decorated by paintings including repeated motifs of the coat-of-arms of the town. The roof seems to float above the walls without support, and the straight line of the boxed eaves is simply emphasized to nicely orchestrate the two facades facing the street. Only a few gestures were used here to shape the building and to express timelessness, which was not compromised by any means thanks to the careful attention of the designer throughout the design stage of the project.

    Architects: András Füzes
    Consultant: Ferenc Salamin
    Structure: Tamás Mantuano – Pond Mérnöki Iroda Kft.
    Electrical engineering: Gábor Münnich – Fényesvölgy Kft.
    HVAC: Zsolt Szilágyi – Energo-Koncept Épületgépészeti Tervező és Mérnöki Iroda Kft.
    Client: Erzsébet Pince Bt.