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  • Past Perfect Rethought

    The Renovation Project of the Remains of the Military Headquarters

    Architect: Zoltán Deák
    Text: Miklós Okrutay
    Photos: Tamás Török / Topogram


    Designed by Mór Kallina, the complex of the Defense Ministry built in two stages from the direction of St. George Square features a third component which did not exist longer than five decades in its full glory. The sight of its remains, however, have fossilized into the cityscape for a longer period. The extent of war damages done to this structure could have permitted a quick reconstruction if there had been an appropriate intention to do so, but the fate of the building was sealed by a decision when the Baroque scale for the reconstruction project of the whole Castle District was approved. Zoltán Deák, the designer of the skeleton of the building thus could be faced with an architectural programme as clear as a formula – with the additional remark that the evident nature of this summary was an indicator of the success of the project itself. Restoration in the classical sense of the protection of historic monuments to the highest standards as possible so that precise and deliberate architectural decisions could be made to allow functionality to prevail. As it is primarily architecture itself that defines the experience of perception, whilst the buildings starts to function in a liveable way. Everything is in its place, the touches of the architect and his due attention left modest marks on it. Now single-functional, it is a representative venue for exhibitions but apparently, it can easily take over the roles of a well-useable visitors’ centre which would be more significant, featuring with permeable and tourable spaces that can be opened into each other and completed with a courtile featuring a loveable atmosphere.

    Architecture: Várgondnokság Nonprofit Kft.
    Architect: Zoltán Deák (Mór Kallina, 1897)
    Fellow architects: Dániel Schuszter, Attila Bernáth, Erika Erdélyi, Móni Simon, Csaba Fazekas – MATA-DÓR Kft., Róbert Erdélyi, Judit Erdélyi-Gáspár, Barbara Deák
    Fire protection: János Mészáros – Mébart Bt.
    Structure: János Lógó –OPT-TERV Kft.
    HVAC: Gábor Szigyártó – Smg-Sisu
    Electrical engineering: Ferenc Rajkai – Hungaroproject Kft.
    Restorers: Szabolcs Csányi, Phase 2: Attila Kovács
    Project managers: Attila Sághi, Gyula Szabados – Sz-építők Kft.
    Main contractor: Nemes és társa Kft., Phase 2: WHB Kft.
    Client: † Dr. Ferenc Zumbok / Phase 2: László L. Simon, István Sárváry