architecture : urban : visual culture

HÁROS SAMPLE – An arranged withdraw

In the case of the Háros Island’s history, it is worth to get involved in the middle of the 19th century. Events accelerated due to recognition of the potential of the River Danube’s gentle tributary. Large-scale investments were made for river and marine shipbuilding. The island ceased to be an island at this time, and the tributary was made into a backwater. Industrial buildings appeared gradually. However, the ambitious beginning ended with a slow exhaustion. The loss of the seashore and the industrialization of Csepel sealed the fate of the development. 

For the next 70 years to this day, the army has been hiding this area from the outside world. During their presence, the existing building stock has been destroyed, while the ecosystem of the island's inside has remained unaffected. Since then the army has withdrawn, and the borders of the development areas are approaching severely. During the course, a comprehensive development plan has been created for the Háros Island, the currently presented section of which addresses the relationship between existing built values and an intact ecosystem.

HÁROS SAMPLE – An arranged withdraw, Architect: Kálna Dávid, 2018.


Local values
Buildings affected by the designing, the traditional shipyard and the service facilities supporting its operation. Perhaps they are 100 years old just today. They're on the borderline, they preserve the last real floodplain forest in Budapest on the edge of the 'former' island. The forest is a hidden treasure: floating litter, wild grapes, hop-binds, unique biodiversity.

The concept
Due to the borderline situation, the built and natural values need to be protected at the same time. The “Háros Sample” derives from this contradiction. Its purpose is to present a sample of the wildlife in the existing hall building. Exhibitions and educational activities around this sample are the function of the building. Other elements of the complex will continue to serve as accommodation and research site. The built environment is withdrawing. The valueless inclusion buildings established through the intervention in the last 70 years are disappearing, so that the floodplain forest can gain more ground. With this vision the area is being cut off from South-Buda and is truly becoming the Háros Island.

HÁROS SAMPLE – An arranged withdraw, Architect: Kálna Dávid, 2018.


The ground floor of the existing hall building is an educational institution organized around an atrium. An interactive exhibition is on its floor, where the main attraction is the ever-changing sample. The former porterhouse is expanding into a new center for a special ecosystem research team. The former social building provides accommodation for people who work here or visit the school for multiple days. The transformer house belonging to the complex becomes the starting point for a floating bridge – straight into the woods.

HÁROS SAMPLE – An arranged withdraw, Architect: Kálna Dávid, 2018.


Structure and material use
The conversion is based on the shipyard's existing anatomy, which incorporates lightweight cross-level slabs and lattice supports of the same design as the existing one. The atrium wall is transparent with a curtain wall structure. Shading is provided by the subsequently applied ‘sample’. Material unknown to the existing hall will not be installed. Existing limestone walls and steel structures are dominant.

The intervention attempts to create a state of balance between built and natural values. We still have an old-growth forest and a special industrial memory. Let that remain so.


Kálna Dávid


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