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  • Reconquest

    Romkert, Budapest

    At the foot of the Gellért Hill, on the northern side of the Rudas Baths, there had been the revived classicist-style spa hotel, with a garden restaurant, a beautiful drinking hall and a fountain sunk into the ground in front of it up until 1945. The war, the new Elisabeth Bridge and the traffic wiped this charming ensemble off from the skyline and cityscape of Budapest, but after the turn of the millennium Romkert („ruins garden”) appeared and for a few years evolved into the city’s trendiest nightclub. It was closed in 2018 and now, reborn in a very different form, it has reopened its doors facing the bridgehead. Its designer, Péter Vékony, managed the redevelopment project of the Rudas Baths, so it was handy solution that he should also compose the closure at the northern end of the row of buildings, which blends centuries of architectural heritage.
    The smart use of the site and the terrain as well as the requirements of the facility have been met by a two-storey, steel-framed gallery building defined by wooden facework. There is no sign of the traditional sense of inside and outside here, everything breathes with the surroundings: the mountain above and beyond, the bridge stretching out in front of it and the panoramic views of the River Danube. On the riverside, behind the spa block, in a sheltered position, it blends into the ensemble practically invisibly, whilst opens up towards the bridgehead through a wide gate. The main emphasis is on the framework and its loose, pierced filling: a band of dark grey, corbelled aluminium wrapping around the cornice of the gallery level and beneath the roofs of the lower level structures, in the same palette as the stair rails and the narrow ribs dividing the wall slats.

    Client: Sunset Kft.
    General architecture: Péter Vékony – nirmana építésziroda, Péter Szendrő – 81font architecture/design
    Architect: Péter Vékony – nirmana építésziroda
    Interiors: Péter Szendrő
    Fellow architects: Zsuzsanna Kéthely, Szabolcs Dublecz, Sándor Agyagási
    Structure: István Kovacs
    Garden: Éva Megyesi- Krisztina Müller
    Enviromental Protection: Attila Fürstand PhD
    HVAC: György Pavlics – PPR-PLAN
    Electrical engineering: FER-MAT Kft.
    Fire protection: Ferenc Végh