Obituary: ‘Visionary architect’ and developer Attila Kovács, MRICS

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Attila Kovács, the founder and managing partner of DVM group and Horizon Development, died on February 10, 2021 at the age of 51.

He was described as a “visionary architect, passionate businessman and charismatic leader” whose professional legacy and “uniquely sophisticated work philosophy” would live on not only in the buildings he left behind, but also in the hearts of colleagues and business partners who worked with him.

Friends, colleagues and acquaintances are invited to pay their final respects to Kovács in front of the Szervita Square Building his company has been developing at Szervita tér 8, Budapest on Wednesday (February 17), between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Kovács graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Budapest University of Technology in 1994 and gained professional experience in architecture and project management in the United States, Sweden, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

“Professionally up-to-date and progressive knowledge was always important for him, hence he consciously strived to have his vision inspired by objects of beauty from all over the world, where he also found inspiration for his own projects,” Horizon Development said.

He founded DVM group, which describes itself as offering the most comprehensive range of integrated architecture and building services in Hungary, in 1995, and launched Horizon Development, a multiple award-winning, premium property development company, in 2006.

“He was attracted by the duality of beauty and challenge inherent in monument protection when he undertook the heritage restoration task of Eiffel Palace (the former publication house and printshop of Pesti Hírlap) and the Váci 1 building (the former Stock Exchange Palace),” Horizon Development said.

Passionate Commitment

“The architectural solutions of the Szervita Square Building, Promenade Gardens and Eiffel Square showcase his passionate commitment to contemporary architecture and sustainability,” the statement continued.

“His entire life was about creating. He built corporations, professional communities and friendships, personal and business relations. Perfection was his calling in everything he engaged in.”

Away from the world of real estate and architecture, he also owned the St. Andrea Vineyards and Winery, the St. Andrea Restaurant on the ground floor of Eiffel Palace, and the St. Andrea Wine & Skybar on the top floor of the Váci 1 building.

He was an enthusiastic member of the MAFC Martos Basketball Team and the Reformed Church of District XI in Budapest. He served as vice president of IFK (the Hungarian Property Developers’ Roundtable Association) where he represented real estate developers active in Hungary both at home and abroad.

“Creation, creativity and development are elements that I thrive on; they give my life renewed energy and meaning,” he said in an interview last June.”

His colleagues said he was inspired by innovation, unconventional and novel solutions, the elegant interpretation of today’s global challenges into stone and concrete, and the unique aspects of realization. Talking to Architecture Forum in 2015 after the completion of Eiffel Palace, he said: “I do not mind at all that the world goes a certain way, and I take a different direction.”

Beyond his own companies and projects, his mission on a larger scale was the urban development of the city of Budapest. He received the “Real Estate Professional of Year” award in 2011 and 2018; the “CIJ Leadership” award in 2016; and the “Pro Urbe” award of Budapest’s District V municipality in 2018.

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