FIABCI: Hungarian Prix d’Excellence Attracts Record 50 Entrants

Office Market

Hungarian State Opera

This year’s 25th anniversary FIABCI-Hungarian Prix d’Excellence International Real Estate Federation competition attracted a record 50 developments, ending in a prize-giving ceremony and gala dinner at the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest. The FIABCI-International Real Estate Federation is present in 60 countries and was established in Hungary in 1992.

“The large number of projects entered allowed us to award the best in each of the nine functional categories, as well as in the ‘Heritage’ and ‘Sustainable Quality’ categories, as there were three or more entries in these categories as well,” said László Gönczi, president of the Hungarian Chapter of FIABCI and the jury vice-president of the Prix d’Excellence Committee.

“In the previous period, developments that did not fall into one of these categories were at a disadvantage. We have recently solved this problem by rewarding the best of these projects. The quality of the works entered proves that developers in Hungary are doing a high-standard job. In a close competition, the facilities finishing behind the winners are also very high quality. Their creators have constructed great buildings and contributed to the improvement of their towns,” he said.

“In addition to private investments, the entries include priority public investments and developments initiated by local authorities. The success of buildings that represent the careful protection of our architectural heritage is remarkable. It is encouraging to see more environmentally sustainable buildings being implemented by developers. I hope the award winners will go on to the FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence and that next year, at the FIABCI Congress in Singapore, we will again celebrate some Hungarian successes,” Gönczi added.

25th Hungarian Real Estate Development Award Results

Renovation of the Hungarian State Opera

First place, and winner of the Cultural and Heritage categories, and Best Project Based on Applicants’ Votes

Candidate: CÉH Planning, Developing and Consulting Inc., and ZDA-Zoboki Architect Studio Ltd. jointly

Investor: 2017-2019 and 2022: Hungarian State Opera. Between 2019 and 2022: Opera Asset Management Ltd.

Designer: ZDA-Zoboki Architect Studio Ltd.

Constructing consortiums:

Historic and functional areas: West Hungária Bau Ltd., Épkar Plc., Laki Plc.

Stage systems: Bosch Rexroth Drive and Control Technology Ltd., Stage and Lifting ApparatusTechnology Ltd., Hidromatic Industrial Equipment Design and Electrotechnical Installation Manufacture Ltd.

Citation

Thanks to the renovation of the Opera House, the modernized building has retained its historical and cultural values, contributing to the liveability of the area and the well-being of the residents. The updated building fits the urban development concept, which includes barrier-free access to the Opera House through accessible public transport services. The partial accessibility of the historic building has been given special attention during the design and construction phase.

The spaces are equipped with technical facilities and installations satisfying modern requirements. The innovative technical solutions include energy-saving systems, intelligent lighting, state-of-the-art stage technology systems, and energy efficiency.

The cultural and economic impacts of the refurbishment include the possibility of staging even larger-scale performances and events, making the Opera House more attractive to art lovers and tourists. The modernized Opera House can now host high-quality cultural and artistic events.

Transformation of the Southern Klotild Palace: Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Second place and winner of the Hotel category, and third placed in Best Projects Based on the Applicants’ Votes

Candidate: Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest

Investor: Melis Investment Ltd.

Designer: Puhl and Dajka Architects Ltd.

Architects in charge: Antal Puhl, Péter Dajka

Interior design: MKV Design

Lead designer: Maria Vafiadis

Constructor: Melden Construction Ltd.

Citation

The basic objective of the development was to utilize the five-story neo-baroque building of the Southern Klotild Palace, built in 1900 and listed as a historic monument, as a five-star hotel.

The building itself forms a block, emphasizing its “sculptural” character. Its location is as important in terms of the urban landscape as its architectural value. Regarding spatial structure, it is divided into two parts, both vertically and horizontally, which are then united by the façade. This division is fully compatible with the public and private space requirements of the hotel function.

The architectural aim was not only to preserve the protected historic spaces, the building’s original circulation system and spatial logic but also to shape the advantage of the new function. The intention was that the main protected spaces, such as the café, the staircases, and the entrance arcade, would not be preserved as a “museum” enclosure but would be brought to life according to their original function so that they become an integral and inseparable part of the hotel building.

MOL Campus, Budapest

Third place and winner of the “Office Building” category

Investor: MOL Campus Ltd.

Architectural Design: Finta &PartnersArchitectural Studio

Contractor: Market Építő Ltd.

Technical Supervisor: CÉH Inc.

Sustainability consultant and qualifier: Óbuda Group

Concept design: Foster + Partners

Interior design: Kinzo Architekten GmbH

Interior design partner: Minusplus Generáltervező Ltd.

Landscape Architecture Design: S73 Ltd.

Mechanical Engineer: Korus Consult Ltd.

Electrical Engineer: VA-IQ Ltd.

BMS: Atria Consulting Ltd.

Structure Contractor: Moratus Szerkezetépítő Ltd.

Mechanical Contractor: Ensi Ltd.

Electrical Contractor: Vilati Ltd.

Façade Contractor: Scheldebouw B.V.

Citation

The new headquarters is a symbol of the MOL strategy. It integrates the 28-story tower with the connected podium into a single form to create a unified vertical campus. The office building has 28 floors, is 120 meters tall, and accommodates 2,500 employees, with a total floor area of approximately 86,000 sqm.

MOL has relocated colleagues from three different districts and nine locations to the new headquarters, whose primary mission is to create a harmonious work environment for employees and, in line with the MOL strategy, to ensure efficient work performance. The design of the interior spaces was based on the concept of creating a modern and sustainable workplace that supports collaboration.

Green spaces run through the entire building, bringing nature closer to the workplace. The building maximizes the potential of its surroundings, offering not only sustainable solutions but also a new reference point for both Budapest and Hungary. First in the country, it has successfully achieved the Breeam “Excellent” rating and the Leed “Platinum” certification.

Budiarsa Sastrawinata, FIABCI World President 2023-2024, welcomed the quality of projects on display.

“These awards showcase how Hungarian developers skillfully blend vintage and contemporary elements. Breathing new life into historic structures while looking to the future exemplifies a fusion of tradition and innovation that has visually transformed Hungary. I am thrilled about the projects at the 2024 World Prix d’Excellence Awards in Singapore, and I am hoping to applaud Hungarian achievements there. Congratulations again to all who contributed to this significant journey. Keep pursuing excellence and remarkable achievements, and I shall continue watching Hungary’s extraordinary developments,” he concluded.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of December 1, 2023.

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