An Authentic Reconstruction

Restoring the railway station complex in Békéscsaba

Architect: Erzsébet B. Terbe, Szabolcs Bánszky
Text: Péter Garai
Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

The railway gate of Békéscsaba has been restored to its original design after having stood in an incomplete and fragmentary condition for several decades. On October 25th, 1858 the very first train arrived in front of the single-storey building built after designs by the Tisza region railway Station, which had its headquarters in Vienna. In the history of Hungarian architecture it was the first series of typological design and the Hungarian Railways worked out a similar one from the 1880s on. The rapid development of the town and the railway station necessitated the extension of the building in 1871 and then in 1910 with further lateral wings. The turn of the millennia saw the station in a badly deteriorating and mutilated condition. However, the comprehensive reconstruction of the buildings was only started recently. The overall impression is both authentic and convincing: the simple flat-roof facade of the plant building has been replaced with restored gables, roofing, reconstructed arched cornices, wall bands, and quarried ground floor that evoke the exterior of the original structure. Based on contemporary analogies, the cast-iron porch was also reconstructed. The formerly existing neck-structure between the old and the more recent station has been demolished, so that both buildings have the chance to prevail independently of each other.

Architecture: Mérték Építészeti Stúdió Kft., Paulinyi-Reith & Partners (earlier name: Mérték Group Zrt.)
Leading architect and interior designer: Erzsébet B. Terbe
Monument history expert: Dr. Piroska Czétényi
Structure: Gergely Tombi – Pataky és Horváth Építésziroda Kft.
Framework: Péter Donáczi – Pond Kft.
HVAC: Károly Pavlics – Treffterv Kft.
Electrical engineering: Judit Balázs – Artvill Kft.
Fire protection: Krisztina Németh
Main contractor: Svábbau Kft.

Previous architect: Szabolcs Bánszky – Mata-Dór Architektúra Kft.
Fellow architect: Anna Kormányos, Krisztina Fáy
HVAC: László Szentpéteri
Electrical engineering: László Atovics
Engineering: GY-B-L Mérnök (leader: ECO-TEC Kft.)
Main contractor: Csaba-2013 Konzorcium
Client: NIF Zrt.
Owner: MÁV Zrt., Csaba Kiss