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  • In the Wake of an Architectural Relationship

    Parallels of the Airports in Budaörs and Helsinki-Malmi

    Text: Péter Csengel, Ibolya Csengel-Plank

    Two of the old airports of Europe exist even today, and even though they are far away from each other, one being in Helsinki, the other in Budapest, they show some striking similarities. Their horizontal plans, the centrally positioned circular traffic control structures with lateral wings make up a motif of a flying bird when viewed from above. Although the arch and the circle used to be frequently applied components in functionalist architecture, they were rarely employed in airport designs in the interwar perioed where a whole circle is the starting point of the floor plan. Authors of this study noticed the formal and floor plan similarities between the airport in Budaörs (1937) and Helsinki-Malmi (1936–1938) and in the first stage of their studies they focused on the analysis of designs to trace the parallels of their architectural history and evolution. Research work revealed and confirmed that the joint points of the projects – despite the obvious formal identities of the realized buildings – must be found in the concept plans first of all. Making a tour of the buildings enriched them with experience that revealed the essential differences which appeared insignificant and marginal when viewing them in photographs but proved to be important in reality.