Stealing attention away from nearby Fashion Street, the gleaming new building on Szervita tér, Servita Square, will soon be ready. The surrounding façades are like an architectural open-air museum, with a bit of Baroque, Classicist, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. With the late modern houses now demolished, they have been replaced by a contemporary hybrid framed in glass, reflecting this urban mix.
Given what was left over
from Socialism, Budapest is in the constant process of dismantling and rebuilding.
Often this means giant, all-glass office
buildings. Szervita Square still preserves its medieval street structure, the
remains of the former city wall can be found in secret places but the space has
been underused for years.
The building designed by István Szabó and Zoltán Jakab has been demolished, and today it is replaced by this Szervita Square hybrid, with communal space and greenery.
In recent years, this charming detour has been dominated by cordons, scaffolding and drilling, but with the fences gone, you can now walk alongside this gleaming addition to Budapest’s downtown cityscape.
This reflective effect is certainly attractive, though many a building has been ruined by its renovation. Is all-glass a must? This building stands apart in such a complex and intimate square, perhaps making it feel more closed than the openness of nearby Kristóf tér, though it seems more ethereal than the former office and car park here.
The façade shows off the architectural heritage around it, an exciting feature, but you can also stand in one place and just lose yourself in the glare. The onlooker does worry, however, if the designers of this mixed-use building, housing retail units, offices and luxury homes, have considered the danger of birds flying into it?
While the interior design is still in full swing and expected to be completed by the summer, the building has already given a completely new interpretation to one of the most complex squares in Budapest.