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Renovation of a 19TH century masterpiece

The Opera house, which was first opened on 24th September 1884, is a renaissance building, a masterpiece of Hungarian eclectic architecture, and a heritage building of European standing.

The use of state-of-the-art technology of the 19th century earned the Opera House its enviable reputation as one of the best of its kind in Europe. The public areas of the Opera House are spacious, elegant and opulent, reflecting the high expectations of its patrons of the time. In the horseshoe- shaped three-story auditorium the ceiling is decorated with murals and a beautiful chandelier made of bronze.

The Opera House was last renovated in 1982. After 35 years, the technology used for the stage and for the building itself had become largely obsolete, and the building needed a full refurb. Every element of the building was examined and documented using point cloud and other digital techniques to assist in the planning of the renovation. The renovation works were carried out in a BIM system in which ZDA collaborated with hundreds of experts, engineers, artists and restoration professionals in what was one of the most challenging projects of its kind in the past decade in Hungary. The renovation process is now nearing completion and the final handover is expected in early 2022.

The Restoresd Auditorium

After a complete restoration of the Lotz fresco, the likewise restored chandelier was returned to its original place in the ceiling.

The capacity of the 1,289-seat auditorium was reduced to its original capacity of  1,035, and the narrow cinema seats that were added in the    1950s will be replaced by comfortable armchairs.

World- Class Acoustics

The acoustics of the auditorium were a key consideration in the renovation process. The aim was to restore the original acoustic attributes of the exceptionally high-quality theatre building designed by the original architect, combining the best practices of that time with the latest 21st-century technology. Numerous changes have been implemented in order to improve the overall sound experience, including changing the orchestra pit back into a reverberation chamber. The 1,289-seat capacity of the auditorium will be reduced to its original capacity of 1,035, and the narrow cinema seats that were added in the 1950s will be replaced by comfortable armchairs

Adapting to the latest requirements

The grand staircase was restored to its original 19th-century condition, with subtle modifications to improve the functionality of the space. The lighting within the space was also significantly improved. The gates leading to the side staircases were opened, creating a safe fire escape route. In order that the facility should be able to host other types of programmes, the staircase was equipped with cutting-edge  audio equipment

Coordinating the restoration works

Under the terms of a design and build contract, the architects at ZDA monitored the construction process at every step. Coordinating the work of the restoration experts and the engineers was necessary to ensure that the coherence of the 19th-entury spaces was preserved. The intricate details of both the internal and the external spaces could only be restored to their former glory through the work of the very best restoration professionals.