architecture : urban : visual culture

Alternative Housing for Foreign Students

Neither a dormitory, nor a rented room, nor a hostel: the diploma-work of Márta Kiss is almost all of them. The theme of the plan was the conversion of the former ruin pub, the Mumus into an Erasmus center, with the aim of finding an alternative solution to two general questions such as temporary housing for young people and the use of abandoned downtown buildings.

In downtown Budapest, there are plenty of empty houses and vacant lots, the reconsideration and utilization of which should be dealt with, since they typically deteriorate rapidly. The area is an integral part of the historical heritage, regarding both its urban structural elements and the composition of its building stock. Therefore, it is a destination of the locals and the tourists as well and is currently an entertainment and underground art district of Budapest.

Covered inner court with balcony - architect: Márta Kiss


Based on the needs and local conditions, the architect found this existing building suitable for establishing a center where, in addition to the accommodation-apartment function, there is space for community-building programs as well. Features open to all those interested are placed in the basement and on the ground floor, while the upper levels are accessible only to residents. The goal is to make the spaces livable, open, and extroverted. Therefore, community spaces are in the focus, while the apartments are functional and compact.

The original U-shaped mass is closed with a new residential block; and by demolishing the existing roof, two floors of full value and an attic are added to the building. The inner courtyard so formed will be covered in order to engage the outside corridor in the vibrant community life, thus creating a "busy street" where everybody stops to talk and chat with friends. On the added floors, two smaller light-in terraces are formed to provide fresh air and natural light. In the rear, the new block takes a bit of a distance from the backside neighboring firewall. This creates a courtyard directly connected to the inner courtyard on the ground floor, expanding the garden concept this way.

Community cuisine and dining room on every floor, with direct connection to the terrace - architect: Márta Kiss


In terms of the use of materials, the architect tried to remain moderate: the street façade is covered with a light colored fiber cement cladding, with window frames and colored shutters, the façade finish also wraps the roof, turning down on the rear façade, while the inner elevations are plastered and the fire walls are covered with vegetation. Existing façades were preserved in their current state.



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