The main challenge is how to unify three different buildings, each with different histories and different façades, into one project, and how to convert them into such complex structures as hotel and residences, while all the time maintaining a proper balance between restoration and innovation.
We start by restoring the street façades back to their original aspect and improving the glazing system to provide proper thermal and acoustical insulation.
The roofs of the three buildings play an important role in the project as they are currently in poor condition and cluttered by mechanical equipment. We propose remodeling them to clear all the MEP equipment, designing a new noble floor that can be used by the hotel clients, apartment owners and the public alike. It will be a new space for the city, designed to enable people to enjoy stunning views of the world heritage sites. But it will also be the element of modern architecture that will unite the buildings from the street, a contemporary design laid onto the historical façades demonstrating the modern approach that an international city such as Budapest can have.
The modern architecture then carries over from the roof into the interior courtyard. The idea is to have one large courtyard that unifies the three buildings into a single block by removing the two inner wings of the Mahart building, which do not contain any protected elements. In this way the courtyard acquires the right proportion and scale, enhancing the quality of the apartments and hotel rooms facing onto this inner space. We propose then covering the courtyard with a glass roof and introducing a garden area that can be used all year round, even during the cold winter months.
To increase the light for the interior spaces, we propose fully glazed façades facing the courtyard with narrow balconies all round. Given the different levels of the inner façades, we propose placing an articulated façade skin composed of vertical elements in wood. The thickness of the wood elements increases at the upper floors to shade them from the sun, given their vicinity to the glass roof.
The result is a new and innovatively designed building possessing an international quality. Its central courtyard becomes a secret winter garden, a special place that can be used by the city's inhabitants and visitors for dining, enjoying a drink or simply relaxing. The roof, with its panoramic restaurant and direct street access, also becomes a space to be enjoyed by the city.
The design is respectful of the culture and heritage but is also forward looking, just as Budapest is full of history but evolving with a vision for the future.
With offices in Milan and New York, Lissoni & Partners has a thirty-year history in developing international projects in the fields of architecture, landscape, interior, product and graphic design, as well as acting as art director for leading companies. Led by Piero Lissoni, the practice combines a range of expertise with a tailored approach that sets it apart. The works of the practice are inspired by a sense of rigor and simplicity and are characterized by a regard to detail, coherence and elegance with particular attention to proportion and harmony. Organized around different fields of intervention, the practice comprises Lissoni Casal Ribeiro for masterplans, landscape design and architecture, Lissoni Associati for interior design, product design, art direction and fit-outs, and Lissoni Graphx for graphic design, visual communication and brand identity, while Lissoni New York develops interior design projects for the American market.