Palatinus Bath, historic main building
Nagy Csaba, Pólus Károly
1003 Budapest, Soó Rezső sétány 1.
Budapest Award of Architectural Excellence, Special Commendation, 2018
The historic main building of the Palatinus Bath is one of the most iconic monuments of Hungarian Modern architecture that the public enjoys and knows. During the renovation of the open-air bath formerly operated only in summer, the aim of the builder BGYH Zrt. was to create a winter-summer thermal bath in the main building. In view of the monumental protection of the building, the highlighted location of the bath and its important role in the life of Budapest, the planning process required great care and prudence.
The renovation and reconstruction of the reception building is exemplary in several respects. With persevering work, the designers managed to convince the builder to set the original Italian Modernist mass, designed by István Janáky senior, free from the deforming additions built in the last 70 years next to and on top of it. The thorough research work resulted in revealing such architectural solutions the original material medium of which has already been completely destroyed. Especially successful was the restoration of the porticus: here the space structure, three fluted RC columns, the railing, the inscriptions, the monumental mural on the wall and the red colored panels in the bottom-ribbed ceiling are all enhancing the impressive overall effect. The restoration of the right building wing’s changing stalls is also exemplary, while the changed function is integrated in the left wing through an innovative spatial design. The two-storey, gallery space of the year-round bath, with the uprising slender pillars, fits perfectly with the original cube. The color effect of the chosen finishes is debatable, the atmosphere is somewhat too cool. By and large, the monumental restoration of the Palatinus is an excellent and forward-looking example of today's changing monument preservation practice: the architects managed to recreate the original values of the building, while making it capable of accommodating the functions of today's needs. So, in the next decades it can operate as a real living building – to the joy of all of us.
Dobos Bence László, Nagy Zsolt, Tőrös Ágnes
Bóday-Bagó Bernadett, Nahoczki Éva, Várhidi Bence
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