Location: Budapest II., Lublói utca 2.
Date of completion: 2012
Architect: SKARDELLI György
Associate architects: BORBÉLY András, CSÍZY László, KELEMEN Bálint, PETRI Dávid
Interior designer: KERECSÉNYI Zsuzsa
Landscape designer: HAVASSY Gabriella
KÖZTI’s new head office was accommodated in a building originally built in 1920 on the corner of Lublói Street and Ürömi Street. It became suitable for the premises of a modern design office after exterior and interior reconstruction.
The site, located along the steeply sloping Lublói Street, extends as far Daru Street, the first street running parallel with Ürömi Street. The steep slope of the site had been transformed into a two-level garden long ago. The huge foliage of the trees ensured pleasant microclimatic conditions. The smaller buildings in the upper garden had been demolished earlier, but their traces were still visible on the site, such as a basement along the garden stairs.
The building was originally a community centre of the Association of Catholic Journeymen until the end of World War II. The property was confiscated from the Catholic Church and nationalized after the war. It was functioning as the office building of Közért Vállalat (the national food store chain) until the fall of communism. Then the building stayed empty for twenty years, but it was still in an acceptable condition in spite of its dereliction. The building has a partial basement, a ground floor and two storeys in the Ürömi Street wing, but it has only one upper storey in Lublói Street because of the sloping ground. There were no partitions in the building: when they were pulled down, most of the plaster came off the bearing walls and a significant part of the floor paving was also removed. Due to these signs, it was easy to survey the structural condition of the building.
The building has good proportions with some neo-baroque details on the characteristic façade. It was not particularly difficult to fill the building with life without any special or substantial intervention, to meet the requirements of the more than sixty year old prestigious company in terms of character and size. The building became completely operable with a well-considered functional formula and with the preservation of the original bearing walls. Energy- and cost-saving operation was a major requirement, moreover even more efficiently, than the actual power engineering regulations required. The exterior façade received thermal insulation of a calculated thickness and the new doors and windows were reproduced after the original pattern with triple glazing. The slabs were reinforced, the piping installed in the walls and in the suspended ceiling provides heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
The details emphasizing the dignity of the building – such as the ornaments of the portal – were preserved and the window frame mouldings were reconstructed. Due to all these efforts, the image of the building changed only slightly and its size did not change at all. The reconstructed gate became the new main entrance, its wide drive serves as a glazed vestibule. The reception desk was installed at the junction of the two wings, so both the people coming from the parking lot and those entering through the main entrance must pass the reception. The original, refurbished staircase leads up to the studios on the upper floors. Everyday work is supported by a large meeting room on the ground floor and several smaller ones on the upper floors. There is a terrace surrounded by greenery in the lower part of the two-level garden, a pleasant place to use from spring to autumn. There is a parking lot in the upper part of the garden, where the retaining wall has recessed mechanical and store-rooms.