Villa Budapest

On the Eastern slope of the Buda Castle, Menyhért Lónyay prime minister of Hungary had a villa built in 1870-71, designed by the most well-known architect of the time, Miklós Ybl. The neo-renaissance building was one story high in Hunyadi János road, and 3-stories high at the facade overlooking the Danube. The building became a property of count Ferenc Hatvany in 1923, who placed his legendary collection of paintings in this house. Most of the Courbets, Manets, Picassos and Cézannes left the country, looted by Nazi and Soviet armies, and the villa was completely destroyed during one of the bombings in World War II. The place saw only a playground until 1996, when a private investor decided to rebuild the historic house. József Kerényi and Péter Bordás reconstructed the building based on archive photos and plans. The facades hide their young age only to the expert eyes: during the reconstruction, stone was used instead of the original plaster-work, which was a rarely used technique in the second half of the 19th century. The inner spaces will be extended downwards, revealing the Golden Bastion built during the Turkish occupation of Hungary. Tadao Ando (Japan) and Ilse Crawford (UK) are the interior designers of the building to be opened in 2010 as an events hall.

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