architecture : urban : visual culture

Accurate reconstruction - the railway station of Balatonszentgyörgy

Leading the reconditioning of the railway station of Balatonszentgyörgy, Pálinkás Ferenc made a thorough histroical research to stay true to even the smallest details.


The railway line of the Southern Railway Company (SRC) was finished on the 1st April 1861. The buildings of SRC were designed and built by Carl Schlimp (1834-1901) an Austrian architect and construction contractor. SRC's various buildings were characterized by rigorous simplicity. The station building of Balatonszentgyörgy was constructed as first class type of the SRC in 1885-1895.


For our design work it was important to gather as much information and data of the lines built and operated by the SRC as possible, including the SRC first class type building. Old photographs and postcards helped us throughout our mission.

Archive plans and pictures

During the preliminary research some original plans and copies were found in the National Archives of Hungary and a considerable amount of documents were available in the Museum of Transport.

On-site research and results

In 2013 we carried out an accurate survey of the building. We collected the original building elements, exterior doors and windows, shutters, fixing elements. We made examinations along the ledges and corners.

Recovery concept

Based on the research results, we decided to re-establish the station building and to modernize the operating building in contemporary manner.
Design guidelines for restoring the building

  • To develop the internal and external passenger traffic areas, raise the standard of passenger service and rethink the room structure according to the 21st century functional needs.
  • To fulfill functional needs of MÁV at the same time to ensure continuous operation of the railway.
  • Good reception of passengers from the city and surrounding towns.
  • To locate operating units and service units close to each other in the rebuilt new operating  building.
  • To ensure independent operation of railway and rental functions.
  • These all with modern engineering and technological design.

Exterior design of the station building

First of all we removed the late alterations that modified the original appearance of the building. The operating building was separated.
The original elevations were restored, the original decoration bricks, lizens and stone footsteps, the decorative plaster decorations and the bricks were reconstructed. The original cast iron columns and racking tubes were preserved and the canopy was refurbished.

All stairs have been restored, new ramps, pavements and green areas have been built, new P + R and B + R parking spaces have been performed around the buildings.

Interior design of the entrance hall

The main functional layout of station building is asymmetrical. It is divided into operating and travel sites. Before renovation it showed chaotic picture functionally. This was terminated by rearranging  the functional layout of the building. Passenger traffic is located on the axis of the building, coupled with the traffic management rooms, the railroad functions are located in the server building.

The original coverings and finishings were destroyed. On the walls there were wood panels, textile wallpaper, and the ceiling was decorated with plaster stucco. There were no exact data on the suspended ceilings, so we did not reconstruct it, instead we highlighted it with an accentuated curved shutter. Using materials: painted on the ceiling and the walls (brownish-gray and white), and wood on the plinth.

The wood panels were reconstructed according to original designs. The benches in the waiting room were also designed according to original drawings.

The operating building

No significant building history was obtained from this building during the research. The house could gain new roles through function change and modern structural transformation.

The simple two-storey building has a solid plastered surface, additional canopy, roller shutter outside shades, using these additional structural elements as an analogy to the old house. We have put the elements of renewable energy utilization on the roof.

Services can operate with low cost (training room, rest rooms, apartments, changing rooms, kitchens and specialist services).

login to comment »