The Neoclassical palace, located in the Buda Castle District, is an authentic “remake”. Major objectives of the reconstruction design were the authentic restoration of the facade according to its look in 1806, creating quality copies of the onetime row of historic rooms in the interior, as well as the establishment of classical-modern offices for the administrative functions. Today the palace accommodates the Office of the President of the Republic of Hungary.
Sándor Palace is a unique historic building of Hungary, it is one of the most beautiful Neoclassical private palaces in Central Europe. It is located on the eastern side of Szent György Square, an important area on the Buda Castle Hill in terms of history, urban structure, architecture, archaeology and art history as well. The palace appears together with the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge in the cityscape.
The plot of the palace, including some existing buildings, was bought by Count Vince Sándor in 1803. The ground floors of the two barracks, built on the foundation walls of a Franciscan monastery that had collapsed during the Turkish occupation, were incorporated into the palace, which was built between 1805 and 1806, probably according to the designs of Viennese architect Johann Amann, with the cooperation of Mihály Pollack. Later, the palace became the property of Count Móric Sándor, who was famous for his riding feats. The palace had been bought by the Pallavicini family in 1831 and it was later rented by the state for the Prime Minister’s Office between 1867 and 1874. The interior of the palace was rebuilt in 1867, as designed by Miklós Ybl. It was rebuilt again between 1927 and 1928 according to the designs of Rezső Hikisch. The Prime Minister’s Office continued to work here until 1944. The building got seriously damaged during the siege of Budapest in 1944, its southern part totally collapsed, burying many valuable artworks. After numerous restauration attempts, which never got past the design stage, and a partial external reconstruction in the 1980s, the building was completely reconstructed in 2002. At the time of design it was intended to be used as the Prime Minister’s Office.
The functional arrangement have been designed with consideration to the spatial system of the palace, the requirements of the cabinet office and the public administration tradition of the building. The main entrance on the southern side of the palace is used for national celebrations and interstate protocol events, while the western entrance on Szent György Square is used as a daily entrance to the office. There are service and office units on the ground floor, a press room, an archaeological exhibition hall, as well as a historical exhibition presenting Sándor Palace and the former buildings on the site. The official rooms for the prime minister, for the cabinet meetings, for the intergovernmental meetings and the office units are located on the first floor, according to the original designs. The historical rooms on the first floor, on the southern side of the palace, preserved the styles of three construction periods, so their reconstruction also followed these major construction periods. The earliest Neoclassical and Empire periods designed by architect Pollack are represented by the Round Salon, the Small Empire Salon and the Hall of Mirrors. The classicizing Neo-Baroque style of the Maria Teresa Salon and the Gobelin Hall (Blue Salon) marks the period when the palace was remodelled for the prime minister. The corner room of the minister and the ministerial waiting room at the end of the eastern wing refer to the Neo-Empire style of the modernization and refurbishment in the 1920s.
The wall panelling, the flooring and the ceilings of the ornate rooms are copies of the original ones. Besides the wall and floor finishes of historic style, curtains, chandeliers, ceramic stoves, furniture, carpets and paintings enhance the historic atmosphere of the rooms. The reconstruction of the furnishings has been supplemented with the iconographical concept of the paintings, with consideration to the premises, functions and traditions.
Today the palace accommodates the Office of the President of the Republic of Hungary. The reconstruction of the building won the Budapest Architecture Award in 2002.
Location: Budapest I., Szent György tér 1–2. Built: 2002 Architect: POTZNER Ferenc Associate architect: GÁSPÁR László Interior architects: MAGYARI Éva, PAZÁR Béla (MNDP Építőművészeti Kft.) Landscape architect: CSONTOS Péter Area: 4500 m2