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  • The Great Rock

    The Great Rock in the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden

    Text: Györgyi Csontos
    Architects: Péter Kis, Gábor Reischl†, Gábor Turányi
    Photos: Zoltán Bagosi, Zsolt Batár, Péter Romvári

    The concept being realized now in its modernized form was born 100 years ago: it is in one of the most bizarre structures of the Budapest Zoo named the Big Rock. Erected during the large-scale reconstruction in 1909-12, it was moulded after an existing limestone hill with a dolomite cap in Transylvani. Its renewal in 2006-08 gave new impetus to the recycling of the building itself. When realizing the utilization designs, its architects – Péter Kis and fellow designers – chose an approach based on analogous thinking governed by the variety of lifestyles and the variety of live and inorganic systems, the diversity of which was interpreted as a reaction to environmental challenges and issues to be tackled. They are planning to make it all experience-like this way, by means of exhibition and technology adjusted to the actual spaces. Imitating the forms of a limestone hill, the design of the interiors of the structure as well as their illumination is based on the analogy of a cave: defined by the method of water finding its way within a limestone hill light filters through the huge, dark and empty space bordered by the crust of the artificial rock.

    The structural recontrusction of the Great Rock (2006-08):

    Director: Dr. Ilma Bogsch
    Architecture: Péter Kis – Péter Kis Építészműterme Kft., Dr. Gábor Reischl – Abora Kft, Gábor Turányi, Erika Ignácz, Péter Gereben – T+S Kft., István Simon – SI Kft.
    Fellow architects: Péter Sándor Nagy, Péter Nyitrai, Szabolcs Somlai-Fischer, Tamás Ükös
    Model: Balázs Szlabey,
    Structure: Ervin Kiss – Kerouac Bt., Dr. Béla Kovács – ÉMI Rt., Tibor Andorka – ÉMI TÜV

    The reconstruction of the Great Rock, interior (2010-12):

    Director: Prof. Dr. Miklós Persányi
    Architecture: Péter Kis – Péter Kis Építészműterme Kft.
    Architects: Bea Molnár, Péter Nyitrai, Tamás Ükös
    Fellow architcets: Orsolya Hőna, Péter Hámori, Róbert Erdélyi, Piroska Varga, Ádám Potzner
    CAD: Zsolt Alexa, Bea Molnár, Péter Romvári
    Structure: Péter Markovits, Angéla Detzky – MTM Kft.
    Installations: András Oltvai, Tamás Oltvai, Zsolt Lengyel – Oltvai Gépész Stúdió Kft.
    Electrical engineering: Dezső Sax – Hochplan Kft.