Gresham Palace

One of Budapest?'s most beautiful art nouveau-buildings was designed for the Gresham insurance company by the Vágó brothers, László and József, who were working in the office of Zsigmond Quittner at the time. (The younger brother, József was the father of Pierre Vago who grew up and became a recognized architect in France.) The best craftsmen of the time have worked on the building bearing the Vágó brother?'s characteristic style: the glazed windows were made by Miksa Róth, and the ceramic ornaments were produced by the Zsolnay manufacture. Thanks to Gresham Café and several editorial offices residing here, the building was a center for culture. After World War II it lost significance and suffered a critical run-down. Finally it was renovated to be a 179-room resort of the Four Seasons chain of hotels around the millennium. During the renovation the original roof was rebuilt, the mosaic inserts and the ashlar-cladding on the facade were restored to their genuine state, and the ground-floor passage, now serving as the public lobby and café of the hotel, was refurbished as well. Some intriguing spaces of contemporary design have been shaped up in the inner areas, for instance, a swimming pool was built in the attic. During the construction of the underground parking before the building, the park in Roosevelt square and Hungary?'s eldest wattle tree standing here has been spared.

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