The top-to-bottom renovation of the most historic market hall in Budapest’s District VII – standing proudly beside central Klauzál Square since 1897 – is nearing the finish line. Regaining its former glory while adjusting to present-day requirements, the covered brick bazaar now has great potential to transcend the purpose of its primary function to provide fresh food to the public, and might just become a flourishing community space. We take a sneak peek inside.
In recent years, this monumental market hall had degenerated into a shadow of its former self in both form and function, and so the local government decided to launch a revival project for this characteristic building of Budapest’s belle-époque era. The refurbishment works were carried out by Laki Épületszobrász Inc., while the project’s lead architect was Zoltán Kun (Kunyhó Architecture Inc.).
The most visible change on the outside is the complete makeover of the roof and the now-gleaming brick wall that makes up most of the façade. The latter had an oily, reddish tint for decades, and it required a thorough cleansing for the building to regain its original color.
Upon entering the market hall, our first impression was that it’s now bright and neat, as opposed to its previous appearance that was quite shady (in every respect). The row of shops opposite the grocery store blends nicely into the market hall’s spacious central section. The walls for the shops are covered in wood, creating a stylish juxtaposition with the building’s metal frame.
Groceries, baked goods, organic milk, fried Mangalica delicacies, Hungarian lángos, specialties from Békés County, pickles, Italian pasta, organic products, and fish will all be available here once the vendors return.
Other shops that will move in include a currency-exchange office, a café, and a local-government information office, while a handful of retail spaces are still available for new businesses.
As the plans show, 14 open-air stalls will also be set up for vendors, as well.
The shop ceilings are made of glass, guaranteeing bright interiors for the vendors while also creating the optical illusion of a constantly busy ground floor.The market hall will be illuminated in spectacular fashion at night, and is planned to serve as a venue for a variety of events, including concerts. Closing time will be – just like in the case of the Hold Street Market Hall in District V – at 10pm, giving it the potential to become a flourishing community space and a fine place to meet friends in the evenings.
Refurbishment works are almost complete, so the market hall is set to open in late September – and soon afterwards we will follow up this article with a comprehensive look at this majestic marketplace.