Dobai Építésziroda Kft.
1119 Budapest, Mérnök utca 39.
Budapest Award of Architectural Excellence, medal and award certificate, 2009
The new headquarters and educational building of Számalk form a new element in the housing estate environment in Kelenföld. The new building, erected on the site of the demolished school in Mérnök utca, is a work carefully designed, elaborated in detail and implemented at a high standard.
The client's expectation was the brick cladding. The architect, János Dobai, chose a surprising solution: a regular pattern, with white spots on a dark background, evoking the peculiar, contemporary taste of an old, almost ancient motif. The markedly light and dark surfaces, as well as the shades of gray, also define the building interiors, and they are complemented by the transparent-shiny surfaces of the glass panes, for example at the parapets of the artfully constructed stairs. The floor plan layout is easy to recognize, it is divided into five zones and arranged longitudinally. There are offices on the Mérnök utca side and classrooms on the back front. These two areas are connected by two corridors and the central service-circulation tract. A special solution was to place very narrow smoking loggias on the end façades. What is excellent: the proportions, the interior layout, the full-height hall, the smoking terraces, the interior design details. János Dobai had already worked for the client before, so, together with interior designer Tibor Tardos, he could relocate an important interior design element to the new building, namely the wall panel of the large auditorium of the old Számalk building, previously planned by him and later demolished. The checkerboard look of the corridors with the white walls and black seats is a quite genuine idea, being further accentuated by the floating, completely transparent staircase railings. However, this conspicuous lack of colors is also debatable. Only a few vertical, bluish-purple light stripes, flickering in a slow transition on one of the walls of the hall, or the relocated panel of the auditorium bring variety to the otherwise white, gray, and black world. Due to its flawless construction and implementation, innovative architectural and interior design solutions, the building stands out from the facilities with similar functions.
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