Magyar Telekom Headquarters

Once the most beautiful romantic building of Buda, the Karátsonyi Palace had been standing west to the Caste Hill until it burnt down in 1938. The construction of a German imperial school began in its place, but the building was only finished in 1954. The building designed in the spirit of the architecture of the dictatorship was then occupied by the Metallurgical and Industrial Machine Design Company. The enormous block was bought in 1990 by the largest Hungarian telecommunication company, Matáv, which later became the property of the German T-Com. The Török and Balázs Architects Office won the tender held in 1996 for the rebuilding of the house. The plan designed under the supervision of Mihály Balázs focused on the preservation of the original values, the facade inspired by Scandinavian modernism, for instance. This was quite a progressive gesture in the nineties. The coating and the colors followed the original ones; only the main entrance was altered. The small park in front of the building is really pleasing, but doubtlessly the most spectacular element is the aula formed by covering a nearly 3000 m2 inner court. The enormous glazed roof is held by tree like columns; the ascending space is reminiscent of the once flourishing vineyards of the area. By displacing window-frames, the facades look as if lost their substance. The conference hall, a lobby and a café are located in the abstract space behind them. The latter is the work of designer András Huszár. This reconstruction, transformed with minimal assets, is one of the best in town.

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