architecture : urban : visual culture

Conversion of the south wing of Rudas Thermal Bath and the development of the existing areas

The building of the soda water plant, which had been crumbling for decades attached to the southern side of Rudas Thermal Bath, became an integral part of the spa with the reconstruction completed in September 2014. 

For the first time after more than 100 years, Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture participated in the interior decoration of a bath, moreover, unique developments also appeared thanks to the work of Kazimír Medveczky. The development of the renowned Rudas Thermal Bath can be divided into three distinct phases in the last one and a half decade. The first phase was finished in 2006, later the façade and the lobby was renovated, finally, the current development phase started in 2013.

The architect of the new wellness area was Péter Vékony (nirmana Építésziroda Kft.) The dilemma of the operating company (BGYH Zrt) was how to improve the utilization of the unused swimming pool, originally designed by Henrik Bauer, how to exploit the more than 1,000 m² unused area and how to modify the internal functional problems and convert them for the benefit of the spa. The major design dilemma was whether the industrial block designed by István Pázmándy architect, which was a narrowing, originally curved closure and was planned to be changed to a multileveled volume, would be able to balance the otherwise absolutely heterogeneous remains of the block. And the biggest question was whether to close the southern end of the building that faced the view and the light or to move towards the risky opening up. Finally, the countless sketches and experiments leading in one direction resulted in the decision for opening this wall of the building.

As the ‘transcription ‘ of the load-bearing structures, the Wellness area was applied with mosaic-covered amorphous ‘concrete curtains’ and concrete lace shading on the southern side, which is said to be Arabic but is actually a quasi-crystal. The four themed pools appear with different colors. In the vicinity of the walls of Gellért Hill a panorama pool was placed on top of the roof.

Mapei

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