Archive for August, 2008





This afternoon I did quite a long walking, mainly through the upper side of my own District, the VIIth.  I just picked up a book ordered via the internet, the reprint of onw of the most interesting work by Joseph Maria Olbrich, “Die Ideen”.


 I regard my book whensuddenly I had to nitice how many elements are in commonbetween the decorativism of thearchitect of theAustrian Secession Palace and the buildings here, in this part of Pest. However too many of them, here in Budapest, are ruined, to many of them must, must be reconsidered and, most important, restored ! This post wants to be a sort of petition to the VIIth District Major (but now only): PLEASE SAVE THE BUILDING, SAVE THE BUDAPEST FACE. Pictures are geotagged, as usual.



Frigyes Spiegel

Modern Ornamentation in Architecture

 THE WHOLE WORLD of art is moving and stirring. An entire century of sterility and vacuity must be compensated. The specific art of the century of the great­est progress must be created.

Barely a few years have passed since the trumpet sounded the rebirth of decorative arts in England. and by today. the whole world echoes with it and the most distinguished artists of our age stand at the gates, waiting to lead their new ideas to victory. Since the glorious times of the Renaissance, there has not been such an intensive movement in the sphere of the fine arts. New schools are taking form in painting and sculpture. each bringing with it new ideas: newer and newer problems are solved. and the time is not long now until the particular art of today’s epoch will crys­tallize from the now seething elements.



One thing is certain already today: that the decora­tive art of the future will rightly claim first place. It could not even be any other way in our century of practical tendency, which explores the aim of every object, which is not content with art being only in and of itself. but calls for it to adjust and conform to our everyday life. How should we engage with all those objects that perpetually surround us. that we con­stantly see?


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Well, even if last week was very intense as far as my stidues on hungarian secession are concerned, no post were eventually published on the blog. Ok, I was very busy but the very reason was that my computer suddenly decided not to work properly …

However, this reportage was 10 days old and it concernes the so called Wekerle colony.


Just 100 years ago (1908) in the very city border of Budapest, a new residential area came to live, mainly for the work and the efforts of the group of the Young , leaded by Karoly Kos but which grouped other artists such as Dezső Zrumeczky, Györgyi Dénes, Veler Mende, Bela Januzsky, Kozma Lajos.

Influenced by the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris, the quest of the Young was to achieve an artistic production which can be popular to be acquired by the emergin fin-de-siecle hungarian middle class, but , at the same time an artistic production which was the result of a deep study on the national hungarian folk tradition. Eventually, the art of the Young was a mixture between the Transilvanian folk architecture and influences by the finnish young architecture (Sonck, Saarinen) and the english Art and Craft movement. “Wekerle Kispest, the ‘Hungarian Garden Suburb’ was built to house more than 20,000 people (lower middle class public servants). It does not only provide residential units but has been planned to provide for all the needs of people settling there. Apart from shops and schools, adult education and cultural amenities were also provided. This estate for industrial and white collar workers occupies a unique place in the architectural history of Hungary. The idea of the housing estate was initiated by Prime Minister Sándor Wekerle. The winning design drew up a ring street system composed of diagonals. All these street led to a central square.The special lane system of the street resulted in stressed intersections street corners and triangular squares. These points marked the sub- centres where the public buildings were erected. The main square with the surrounding biuldings were nearly ready by 1912, however the entire project was completed by 1926.” (


Ok, really it tooks me a while, ’cause the district is quite large and all those villas are a little bit displaced through the hills of the second district.  Here you will able to find out maybe the most elegant and luxurious villas of the turn of the century art. And, from the rakpakart, the Buda’s side of Duna river, you can see an amazing Pest side skyline, including the outstanding building of the Hungarian Parliament.


I took those photos in two different days, respectively three and two weeks ago, and both were very sunny days. The Duna itself was scented with a see-like parfum …

Ok, hope you really enjoy this gallery and, as ever, the geotagged map.

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Well, this time the web site can provide a very special article. Thanks (but many ..) to my collegue Zita and to the kindly staff of the Foldtani Intézet I had access to the inner rooms of one of the most famous building of the hungarian szecesszio: the masterpiece building of Lechner which hosts the Hungarian Geological Society.


Eventually, a book was even donated to me: I published an excerpt in which the art critic Nemes Marta describes the bullding by an architectonic point of view. Enjoy the article and the photos as weel BY CLICKING ON THE FOLLOWING LINK !

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