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  • Architects, Archive!

    Text: Tamás Ulrich

    Reimholz Péter rajza

    Drawing by Péter Reimholz

    The design archives of KÖZTI (the office of designing public buildings), which has existed since 1949, was completely demolished in 1992 owing to a leak in the building. As a result, several hundreds of design documents perished that documented a significant period of architectural history, which is actually becoming more and more interesting for us right now. It is almost impossible to list all the well or less known buildings, including numerous remodelled or demolished ones, as well as those that have remained in blueprint.
    In this period construction projects started with study schemes as a rule, followed by the making of the drafts for the actual construction project, then the design documentation for licensing. The last stage of design was the making of package designs for implementation. Design sheets on tracery paper, technical descriptions, calculations, budgets, coordination minutes, etc. are all regarded as authentic historic documents. Let me also add here the documents of modifications and remodellings of later project stages, the design labels with all the names and signatures of the participating designers, specialists and professional contributors. By analysing all these design sheet labels it would be possible to compile the oeuvres of individual architects, following and documenting their entire careers evolving from the very beginning (drawers) to designing architects.
    Of course, today’s digital world is completely different, but even so we can hear of serious problems to be tackled, inlcuding the disappearance or demolition of entire stocks.
    Architects, please do archives carefully, save and store all the plans, schemes, drawings and designs, all the physical results of your intellectual work in order to make it easier for future generations to document and write up the history of today which is about to turn into the past.