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Contemporary on Classical

Zorán Vukoszávlyev

Copper-clad rooftop additions to a neo-classical style boutique hotel in Szabadság Square, Budapest, Hungary, continue a tradition of periodic building remodelling in that city.

Since the early part of the 19th century, downtown Budapest has been characterised by organic development. Buildings grew in height and got a ‘face lift’ in historic styles. Single and two storey houses were extended with two or three additional floors and, according to the trend of the time, buildings were reconstructed with new façades chosen eclectically from different historical styles. All this was seen as a consequence of the natural life of the city. 

In this tradition, a substantial 4-storey corner block building – already subject to periodic expansion over the years – has been extended with a contemporary 2-storey structure clad entirely with pre-oxidised copper. This addition was made possible by construction of a new structural wall behind the original façade, also enabling extensive internal remodeling in a thoroughly modern style, while maintaining the top-lit central atrium space. The rooftop intervention steps back behind the top cornice and its copper surface plays ‘second fiddle’ to the monochrome facades below.

Architects: Péter Reimholz and Péter Nagy, Tamás Németh
Copper installer: Narva Kft.
Photo: József Hajdu


Article about this building was published in 30/2011 issue of Copper Architecture Forum magazine.

Related articles: 
Hotel Boutique, Budapest, Hungary

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