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  • Aquaculture and Modernism

    Árpád Open-air Baths, Csillaghegy

    Architect: Márta Németh
    Text: Anna Zöldi
    Photos: József Hajdú

    After a long period of instability and making several compromises, the new building of Árpád Open-Air Baths complex was opened to the public. The curing effects of the springs in Csillaghegy had already been obvious for the Romans, who supplied water to the nearby town of Aquincum via aqueducts. The slightly sulphuric waters were the basis for the Csillaghegy Árpád Baths Ltd. launched in 1919 by Elkán and Co., as an enterprise which then was developed non-stop. In 1950 the baths were taken over by the state, and developments in the 1960s and 70s were carried out to cater for large numbers of people to allow them to spend their free time in a civilized way. The golden era was over at the time of the change of the political system, as it was rated as lowprofit and it was threatened with closure. In this situation the owner, the Budapest Thermal Baths Zrt. decided to widen the variety of its services, and started to design a wellness centre on the site. The rising building terraced towards the back is seated on the terrain with six storeys to house all the necessary functions. Facing the street, the house turns with a relatively modest mass with a style adjusted to that of the modernist style row of the changing rooms. The Bauhaus character is reinforced by the accentuation of the vertical arrangement on the street facade with the terrace railings and the window configuration. The spacious swimming pool zone roofed with wooden timber structure is located behind the two-storey block of the foyer. There is a multi-storey wing behind it to house the wellness facilities.

    General design: Ybl Tervező Kft.
    Leading architect: Márta Németh
    Architects: András Páhi, Noémi Kurunczi, Péter Mészáros
    Interior design: Kazimir Medveczky
    Interiors of entrance hall, saunas and wellness dept: Erzsébet Gothárd
    Structure: Balázs Halmi, Zsolt Petrilla
    Civil engineer: János Kristóf
    Electrical engineering: Levente Kuthi
    HVAC: Ervin Barta – ÉPGÉPTERV
    Water technology: Tamás Barát – Oxygon
    Client: BGyH Zrt.
    Main contractor: Kalotherm Zrt.