architecture : urban : visual culture

The recapture of Pesterzsébet - the Hullám Boathouses

In recent years, the utilization of the abandoned old buildings, their revitalization, the reconsideration of the former functions, and at the same time the preservation of their architectural values is an increasing trend. The issue of the Hullám (=Wave) Boathouses, once operating as a thriving sports center and a recreation park, fall in line with these tendencies. Recently, they have been given a ‘facelift’ within the framework of the TÉR_KÖZ project, on basis of the design by BLOKK Építész Műhely.

The location lies just 10 km south to the city center: it is the bank of Kis-Duna, Pesterzsébet District. In the twenties of the last century, it was the largest village in the area with its population of almost forty thousand people. Ödön Somody actually developed here a resort area within the city, with five boat houses, outdoor showers, a tavern, tennis courts and green surfaces. In the eighties, in parallel with the increase of rents, also the depopulation of the area has begun.

Hullám Boathouse - architect: BLOKK Építész Műhely - photo: Danyi Balázs

The fairly ambitious and complex tender concept can be divided into two main elements. One of them focuses on the complex function-expanding revitalization of the Boathouses, while the other on the construction of the footbridge connecting the area (Gubacs district) to the city center. The two elements are integrally connected to each other and form a logic unit.

The construction of the footbridge could eliminate an old problem. The separating effect of the HÉV (suburban train) and the Helsinki road is strongly prevails in direction of the Gubacsi Road Housing Estate and the significantly newer Mediterrán residential community; and in order to enable the development of a living relationship between the bank of the Danube and Pesterzsébet it would be essential to improve this situation. The implementation of this is still awaited.

Hullám Boathouse - architect: BLOKK Építész Műhely - photo: Danyi Balázs

The material submitted for the competition includes the entire revitalization divided to six sub-projects, which can be realized one by one, in several steps even independently from each other. Two sub-projects have been finished in the first phase that was handed over in June this year. The Boathouse III, the reception building and the riverside buffet were completed on the site owned by the Pesterzsébet Local Government of District XX, by the design of BLOKK Építész Műhely. The Boathouse III was basically rebuilt, the brand-new hall unit was constructed from pine framework, same in the size and style as the original, but clearly being the creation of the 21st century in terms of character, materiality and spatial organization.


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