The building succesfully incorporates the practical solutions required by an office building with the simple details of the functional requirements; its intellectual impact and form well represent the speciality and uniqueness of the world-class activity it accommodates. This is a good example of the fine unity of form and content, a special, a consistent design for a special commission.
Knorr–Bremse is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of braking systems. Due to the use of computers, the development in braking systems has been huge. The new technology, controlled by board computers, helps the drivers in handling special and critical situations and accordingly requires continuous software development. The software was designed by an outstanding Hungarian IT team, who had provided fundamental creative work for the global company, working in very poor conditions at the Faculty of Transportation Engineering of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Knorr-Bremse commissioned Közti with the design of a new centre in order to end this unfortunate situation.
The building has a dual function. Most of the floor-space has been assigned for office work; this is where the software is basically designed. On the ground floor of the building, there is a workshop with three stations installed with vehicle inspection pits, capable to accommodate even the largest trucks. The software is uploaded directly from the design table to the board computer of the vehicles for testing purposes. The impact of the software on the braking system is tested by the designers themselves in the workshop or on the outdoor test course, therefore feedback arrives quickly to the designers. The architectural concept of the building has been based on this dual function.
The traditional arrangement of the floor plan with a central corridor is almost ripped apart by the workshop with three stations, located at the central axis of the building. It creates a tension in the interior space and the whole mass of the building, relating its appearance to the high-tech activity. This important feature is also communicated by the building to both the casual viewers and business partners, so the building itself has become an advertising medium of the company. This concept is also confirmed in the use of materials. The building is dominated by clear glass, divided by metal ribs, there is brick cladding at the ends. The glass turns over the corners, emphasizing the tension of the concept, just as the wide overhanging eaves of the half-gabled metal roof and the stainless steel air intake cones at the ends of the building do. The brick cladding on the end walls of the building and on the boundary wall of the site is a kind of reflection to the bus garage across the street, which is an outstanding example of the local industrial buildings.
The building was awarded the Pro Architectura Prize of the Republic of Hungary in 2001 and the Pro Architectura Prize for the Best Building of the District by the District XI. Municipality in 2002.
Location: Budapest XI., Major utca 69. Built: 1999 Architect: SKARDELLI György Associate architects: DUDÁS István, FARKAS Zsolt Interior architect: PLACHTOVICS Vilmos Landscape architect: HAVASSY Gabriella Area: 3920 m2