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    The Reconstruction of the Castle District, Sopron

    Architect: Levente Szabó
    Landscape architecture: GEUM
    Text: Barnabás Winkler
    Photos: Balázs Danyi


    The historic core of downtown Sopron is surrounded by the walls of the castle. Enriched with bastions, they were built from locally quarried stone and there is a narrow promenade running along them. The latter path has been freed from its confines recently by the local management in a professional way. What this romantic route surprises with people who walk it by chance is not only the view of the castle walls, but also that of the back of the row of residential houses built in front of them. The Castle District thus extends and undulates in front of the facades of dwelling houses surrounding the castle walls. Flanking the road, there is a versatile and yet integral row of protected historic and contemporary modern buildings, In 2009 the city management published the design contest for the long-awaiting reconstruction of the Castle District. As a result, Hetedik Műterem („Seventh Studio”) managed by architect Levente Szabó was commissioned with the project. Besides the implementation of their convincing scheme, their contract focussed on complying with strict local regulations, and taking into consideration the requirements of the locals as well. Construction started in 2013, and was finished at the end of last year. The Castle District is not only an area of transport, traffic and communication now: it is filled with life. The whole facelifted road-square co-exists with the shops in the houses flanking it. There are no fences that divide and separate them, and the delicately distinguished functions are marked by a variety of pavements that harmonize with each other. It is obvious where cyclists are allowed to travel, and the liveable area has been multiply extended for passers-by. Besides, a safe playground also awaits children here in the pedestrian area. Parking areas are only accessible from the main road, which guarantees undisturbed pedestrian zones. By rationalizing the traffic system here public road traffic has pleasantly slowed down. The rate of green areas has not decreased: they actually and perceivably counteract the fine tracery of paved surfaces from all sides.

    General design: Hetedik Műterem Kft.
    Leading architect: Szabó Levente DLA
    Landscape architects: Csontos Csenge (†), Gyüre Borbála, Lád Gergely – Geum Műterem Kft.)
    Fellow architects: Biri Balázs, Dvorzsák Jessica, Kohout Dávid, Simon Orsolya (pályázat: Almer Orsolya, Páll András, Tánczos Tibor)
    Monument reservation experts: Veöreös András, Tárkányi Sándor
    Roads, traffic: Rhorer Ádám, Mezey András – Közlekedés Kft.
    Public utilities: Szabó Ádám – Aqua-Duo-Sol Kft.
    Public lights: Galazka Tibor, Horváth Ferenc – GT-Vill Kft.
    Frames: Horváth Csaba
    Structures: Kapovits Géza
    Water technology: Drobni Gergely, Skublics László
    Client: Sopron megyei jogú város