zda logo png

Palazzo Dorottya (En)

The reconstruction and transformation of Palazzo Dorottya, one of Mihály Pollack’s and Alajos Hauszmann’s most important downtown palaces, for the purpose of luxury apartments, offices and retail outlets.
The classicist building consisting of a ground floor +2 upstairs levels underwent several reconstructions and extensions. The building called Wurm-Court situated at 6 Dorottya Street and 15 Apáczai Csere János Street is an office building opening to three streets, built around a courtyard, with two sections in the street wings, with partly four, five and six levels in the Inner City of Budapest, with classicist plastic art on its elevations. The bank hall in the courtyard with the connected series of spaces was designed by Alajos Hauszmann. In the protected building, we designed 85 luxury apartments with traditional atmosphere and, on the ground floor and the first floor, elegant retail and office areas were created benefitting from the features of the monument building.

In the transformation, we were governed by the task of protecting and renovating still existing original classicist (Pollack) and neo-baroque (Hauszmann) details. In order to satisfy the modern requirements related to apartments while keeping the street section, the bank hall and the connected ground-floor and first-floor spaces, the architects proposed the demolition of the court sections of the building. In the internal courtyard, a building on the house-in-the-house principle was designed, in which the reconstructed Hauszmann hall intrudes. The bad condition of the building was a structural challenge. The strengthening reinforced concrete structure was hidden, carved into the walls, and the wooden slabs were replaced by reinforced concrete slabs. An underground garage was built under the Hauszmann hall. The hall was demolished and rebuilt to its original condition. The new residential wing built in the court of the building snuggles to the original building invisibly from the outside. The renovation is an example of how to utilize downtown real estates while preserving their values and also conserving the residential function. The execution plans were made by KÖZTI under the management of Péter Potyondi, and Avci Architects participated as consultants in the project. 

Yettel Székház (en)

An office building for Yettel – formerly Telenor – , following the “New Way of Working” concept which is radically new in Hungary. The environmentally friendly greenfield project designed by ZDA translates the values and technology of the Scandinavian multinational company to the domestic conditions using the language of architecture by creating a cooperative office workspace unprecedented in Hungary.

The Scandinavian human policy approach, which considers cooperation, the possibility of connections and the equality of colleagues as the guarantee of successful operation, was a novelty in the mid-2000s in the Hungarian office building culture aligning personal working areas next to each other. The modern office mentality which is characterized by the parallelism of immersed individual and communication-based office work required the flexible organization of space and the creation of work spaces with different characters. The pioneering architectural design of the Telenor Headquarters in Törökbálint follows this design principle in all respects.

The 9 office wings spread out around the glazed lobby like a fan. The building covering a huge floor space is in an organic connection with the surrounding nature due to its distributed floor space design. On each level of the wings, office units for 50 to 60 persons are operated. Their open spaces, huge glass surfaces offering connection with the green environment provide flexible working environment that is human in scale. The closed meeting rooms designed within the units provide the possibility of intimate working. The multi-level lobby opening towards the surrounding green area in its entire height in multiple directions serves intensive community life which is an indispensable part of the mentality of the office. The connection between the units through the open central lobby is ensured by the meandering white ribbons of passages. Their spaces with diverse interior design offer further opportunities for communication. The building involves also the peer professions of architecture in creating a humanized working environment: in its community spaces and environment, contemporary fine art received an important role, and due to its embeddedness in the landscape, the term “close-to-nature workplace” received real meaning.

The Yettel House offering 21st century office technology – in harmony with Scandinavian thinking – uses highly environmental friendly mechanical engineering solutions: the heating of the building uses geothermal energy; this is the largest heating system in Hungary based on renewable energy now. 

A Budai Várnegyed fejlesztésének stratégiai terve (En)

In an urban-planning and economic preliminary study for the long-term (25-year) strategic plan for the Buda Caste Quarter, the planners examined the possibilities of a self-sustaining renewal of the quarter by involving experts and giving precedence to the aspects of feasibility. Their strategic recommendation was prepared with the involvement of a wide circle of experts and the civil society.
They are convinced that the available professional materials with appropriate content are ready for preparing the concept for the Castle Hill, the most prominent quarter of Budapest from urban-planning and historical point of view, but their discussion in wide professional and civilian circles has not taken place yet. The main principle was that the widest possible circle, that is, opinion leaders outside the narrow profession, have to be captivated as well for a reasonable solution of the problem. The work team undertook the job with an interdisciplinary approach, with almost 50 team members and involving about further several hundred experts. An international expert team could be set up which can be of help both in the area of heritage protection and in developing the real estate model. The Buda Castle Hill project is an opportunity to create a new type of working model where economic and real estate development issues play the main roles.

The architectural/urban-planning concept and its special chapters on the one side and the strategic and methodology questions on the other were discussed in separate chapters. The first four chapters of the urban-planning recommendation breaking down the Buda Castle to four structural units – Castle, Szent György Square, Polgárváros and castle slopes/environment – sums up the history of the Castle Hill, its features, the development concept illustrated with rich drawing and picture materials, and puts forward at programme-level the intellectual purposes of the workshops preparing the tasks. The special chapters expand on the tasks and possible solutions for each respective area. Separate expert groups examined the areas of access, traffic, civil engineering, infrastructure, utilities, caves, heritage protection, tourism, culture and cultural sociology, and their motivational thoughts and essays were built in the respective chapters of the preliminary studies. Apart from the examination of current regulations, institutions and functions, also the lessons learnt from international castle projects were built in. A detailed 3D model of the historical Castle complex was built, and an urban-planning working model was also prepared in Sc 1:4000 on which not only the Castle Hill but also the context of the environment can be examined.

An especially important part of this work is the real estate development preliminary study detailed in Chapter II, putting the real estate development and economic part of the work – differently from the usual Hungarian design exercise – into the focus of the entire concept. For the realization of private and public developments based on the domino theory, the example of the Rive Gauche in Paris was analysed. The EU tendering expert’s study explores the elements appropriate to the EU Jessica programme. Apart from this the planners discussed in detail the issues of the scheduling and the budget as well as the necessary PR strategy.

Kastélyosdombó Térségfejlesztési Központ (En)

Kastélyosdombó is a regionally important centre of the Ecumenical Relief Organisation, which plays an important role as a model social and regional development programme as well as a training centre.

The reconstruction of the former granary and its surroundings in the centre of the settlement, based on a concept plan offered pro bono by ZDA-Zobok Architects and Pagony Landscape and Garden Architecture, is a new milestone both in terms of its central role in the region and in strengthening the local community.

Since the centre of the one-street village is currently the pavement in front of the shop, there has been a long-standing need for a real village centre with character.

The re-imagining and refurbishment of the uniquely located core warehouse building, which has been derelict for decades, will create a dominant community space in the area. It will host professional forums for farmers in the area, a unique farmers’ market, and a venue for community and family events. The upper level of the building will be used to create a niche market for barn accommodation, which will build on the significant cycling tourism in the area – and the revenue generated will contribute to the maintenance of the regional development programme.

A year-round event hall for 150 people and its service blocks will be built at a later stage adjacent to the core building. The separate buildings will be linked by a continuous pergola system. This will provide rain-protected circulation between the buildings and will also define different spaces: the new main village square, the bus shelter, the market square and separate covered terraces for events.

Libegő a Duna felett (En)

It is worth looking from a high point at all cities that have special features, should that high point be a morphological uniqueness or a memorable engineering feat. The historical heart of Budapest is the Castle Hill which is connected to the Danube bank since 1870 by the remarkably built “Sikló” funicular railway whilst the highest point of the inner city – Gellért Hill offering the most impressive cityscape – is still difficult to access.

Though, since the first third of the 1800s, many plans were developed for utilizing the high point of Gellért Hill and for accessing it, but these were not realized. The legal conditions for sorting out the current undignified conditions were recently created by the government. Now it is possible to design an attractive touristic centre by conceptually rethinking the Citadel and its environment and also considering the environmental aspects.

The Pest-side quay facing Gellért Hill, that is the Belgrád Quay, despite its unique features, is hardly utilized for touristic purposes mainly because of the traffic led through the lower and upper quays. Plans are in progress for settling the area by extending the Pest esplanade. The objective is also to intensify the connection of the Inner City with the Danube by increasing the attraction of the streets running out and commercial utilization. In its plan, ZDA makes an attempt to make more attractive the high point of Budapest with the most spectacular view and the southern Inner City by creating a cable car. A feature like this could be a catalyser for developments in the area of the Belgrád Quay and the Citadel, and evidently offers advantages from the aspect of the emission of pollutants and noise. The new touristic element will attract visitors so that those starting from the Inner City will not have to get on a bus, so reducing the bus traffic between the Danube banks. The valley station may be created on the quay, by erecting an attractive structural shape, or hidden, on a vacant plot of Molnár Street. The hill station will not alter the protected silhouette of the Citadel either. The southern round terrace built together with the Liberty Statue will perfectly encompass the structural elements necessary for the operation of the cable car. Only a few steel ropes, and, at every 15 minutes, two cabins for 50 persons each will appear in the world heritage view of Budapest. During the planning process, coordination is needed with the UNESCO officials responsible for world heritage.

The presented concept is founded by several detailed special – architectural, urban-planning, touristic, traffic, environmental protection, green surface, cave protection, heritage protection and utilities – studies. The most important conclusion of each of these studies is that the conditions of realizing the project are provided from every aspect.

Radnóti Miklós Gimnázium felújítása és korszerűsítése (En)

The building of the Radnóti Miklós Grammar School designed by Béla Lajta is part of the cultural and architectural heritage. The condition and the functional deficiencies of the building made an urgent reconstruction necessary without which the everyday operation of the school was endangered.

In the 21th century, the tendencies determining the general behaviour of schoolchildren and school environment considerably changed. As a consequence, the traditional pedagogical methods and educational spatial structures cannot satisfy every new requirement. Therefore, contemporary school design requires fundamentally novel approaches. There are a number of current studies dealing with the design tendencies of 21st century schools, and they emphasize the following thoughts:

– today’s school environment requires flexible, changing spatial structures

– spaces with natural illumination are determinant and inspire students to be open

– the use of natural materials stimulates children

– variegated zones of community-building and collaboration are necessary

– school spaces should help students to form a strong individual consciousness, but at the same time also have a community-building power

– the use of colours is important and determinant

Nemzetközi Előadóművészeti Központ, Shenzhen (en)

The 19 million Chinese metropolis, Shenzhen is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The three-building complex around the Xiangmi Lake in the city center is dreamed of to become both a symbol of the city and to commemorate the dynamic development and creative power of the town.

ZDA-Zoboki Architects, along with several star architects such as Heatherwick Studio, Christian de Portzamparc, or Henning Larsen Architects, have been invited to propose a design for the International Performance Center (IPC). ZDA’s design was chosen as one of the top five by a professional jury of outstanding professionals, including Rem Koolhaas and Massimiliano Fuksas. In the final round, the proposal of the ZDA – together with Zaha Hadid and two other offices – was awarded with the second prize.

The design of ZDA reflects the needs of the public, individuals, artists and visitors alike. It envisages a space for all: performers, experimentalists, culture lovers, citizens and tourists from all around the world. To create a building that the whole community can be proud of, the mission was to identify symbols that have been integral to Chinese tradition for centuries and have strong connections to art, culture, community and celebration. The shape of the building evokes the ancient mountains and cliff faces of Chinese mythology, which symbolize permanence, security and familiarity.

The building is part of the city park – a lively, undulating green, rooftop space that can be used by everyone and that will bring a small piece of the mountains to the townspeople. At the same time, it has a beneficial effect on the climate of the building and its immediate surroundings, following the “Sponge city” environmental concept.
The building has been given a façade of a consistent function and appearance, reinforcing the facility’s symbolic sculpture-like importance. The façade elements starting from the street level as thin stone strands ensure unobstructed visibility between the exterior and the interior. These strands become increasingly close to each other as they move upwards and finally they fuse together to hold up the roof gardens.

The “Star Concert Hall” and the “Dream Theatre” can accommodate two separate events at the same time. Both rooms can be approached from a common – but partitionable – lobby, which faces the main square.
The design of the Dream Theatre was a cooperation with prominent representatives of the classical and experimental performing arts genres. The space and technology requirements that would allow everyone’s needs to be met to the fullest were determined by this expert team and the architects together. The final layout combines classical European theatrical traditions, Chinese performing arts traditions, contemporary trends and state-of-the-art technological advancements using easily implementable and original designs. The result is a scalable room that can be easily reconfigured to host between 1,600 and 2,800 people in the widest variety of layouts, and that will be able to accommodate new and as yet unknown genres and technologies.

Budapest projektalapú fejlesztési koncepciója (En)

The purpose of our three-volume study outlining the vision of Budapest is to help the city in coordinating the functional and infrastructural frameworks with the development ideas in a proactive manner instead of an approach just following the process. The basis of strategic planning based on project-approach consists of collecting the projects and exploring synergies offering quality surpluses.

Budapest is being currently built “from vacant lot to vacant lot”, without comprehensive urban-planning and architectural control. It consists of a random series of projects that are determinant for long-term development. Governmental developments are adjusted to political cycles. The comprehensive management of diverging ideas requires the creation of a uniform approach to financing and infrastructural developments and the harmonization of the counter-motions between public will and the investors’ system to enforce their interests. The city management has to play an initiating role rather than just following the processes. The big European cities assign community planning tasks to independent organizations managed by leading political players, similarly to the operation of the Public Works Council in Budapest between 1870 and 1948, when it became a metropolis. The Council was organized as a tool for conscious urban policy, as a strategic institution to realize the master development plan of the city together with the funds and financing system necessary for its operation. On the other hand, in the past decades, for lack of a uniform and feasible urban development and architectural concept, only urban regulation was undertaken, so we think that a strategic organization needs to be set up for Budapest.

The urban-planning and strategic creation work should be started with collecting the projects. The functional and infrastructural frameworks have to be coordinated with development ideas. By rolling out the “project carpet”, we search for the synergies resulting in a quality surplus which ensure the basis for the long-term development of the city, the successful future of the 21st century Budapest.

The construction of the Government Quarter and the development of the Castle Quarter are organically connected to the development of Budapest. It is an investment complex with a multiplying effect which forms the national and international image of Budapest first of all in a symbolic way. To this is connected the project network of the city gates along the Danube which is viable also independently and the ring bordered by Hungária Boulevard and Dózsa György Road. The goal is to comprise the government initiatives into a uniform system, a spatial network, to ensure the spill-over effect of these initiatives strengthening each other and to think over the economic considerations. The basis of all future public investment, their placement in the city and the related urban development effects have to be advanced.

The collected public investments together in the zone formed along Hungária Boulevard – Dózsa György Road – Green Ring – create a united image. The related infrastructural developments, mainly traffic developments of national and regional importance have to be assigned to these and not the other way round.

Our study is comprised in three volumes:

VOLUME 1 Study on the placement of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Office of the President of the Republic.

VOLUME 2 Comparison of the placement of governmental institutions, placement versions.

VOLUME 3 Leading projects for the urban development of Budapest, their spatial placement and realization.

To understand the “Green Ring” concept, a brief description of the major projects is given. Then they are presented on large-scale maps to illustrate the interconnections. In the presentations, there is a brief information on the main elements of the projects appearing in the maps, their interrelations as well as proposed amendments which, if considered, help the concept reach its full potential. In the maps, the projects of various types (central administration, infrastructural, cultural – training – science, sports and public area – pedestrian, cyclist, touristic, commercial developments) appear together with the track-based traffic network and its developments as well as with the designation of pedestrian and cyclist axes that will appear.