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  • Ybl Castle in the shade of Modernization

    Wenckheim Castle in Szabadkígyós

    Architect: László Földes
    Text: Marianna Berényi
    Photos: Földes és Társai Építésziroda


    Built after large-scale designs by Miklós Ybl between 1875 and 1879, Wenckheim Castle in Szabadkígyós ranked amongst the most modern ones in Hungary then. Clad in historicising style, especially in that of German Neo-Renaissance, this complex had everything a provincial luxurious residence had to have in the latter half of the 19th century. There was a chapel, a wainscoted library and dining hall, orangery, residence for members of the family on the ground floor, spare rooms for guests upstairs, cooling-heating system, an English garden and later on even a runway for airplanes. It has remained a curiosity up till now, being one of the very few single-period Hungarian castles built after an integral design concept including interiors and exteriors, the park, the chapel and outbuildings. The complex and the whole estate surrounding it was plundered after 1945 and then nationalized, and finally it housed an agricultural vocational school up to 2011. Designs needed for a partial reconstruction of the castle and the building of the visitors’ centre were made by Földes and Co. Architects who ambitioned to restore the original period, that of Ybl, by including contemporary functions in various spaces of the castle in order to meet present-day requirements whilst following the original ones as precisely as possible. According to plans which have remained in blueprint up till now the entrance would be preserved in its original place and design, whilst the rooms needed for the functions of the visitors’ centre were designed as follow-ups of former functions.

    Client: Szabadkígyós Község Önkormányzata
    General design: Földes és Társai Építésziroda Kft.
    Leading architect: László Földes
    Architect: Csaba Balogh
    Fellow architects: Ági Vértesy, Johanna Csűri, Péter Sónicz
    Interior design: György Frank – Arma Stúdió Bt. , Tatár Balázs
    Structure: Zoltán V. Nagy – Lapidárium Kft.
    Landscape, garden design: Ágnes Herczeg – Pagony Táj- és Kertépítész Iroda, Dóra Tikk, Bettina Edvi
    HVAC: Attila Lucz – HVArC Mérnöki Iroda Kft.
    Electrical engineering: Judit Balázs – ArtVill Mérnöki Iroda Kft.
    Lighting: Ferenc Haász – Erco Lightning GmbH.
    Model: Csaba Bajusz