Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Transformation And Extension Of The Central Building, New Generation Center in Zanka, Hungary by Modum Architects Ltd
March 26th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Modum Architects Ltd
The main building of Zánka’s New Generation Headquarters was originally built in the 70s. (Imre Kiss, 1969) It stands out above the foliage of the surrounding trees. Its 7-storey high tower representing modernist approach was built in internationalist style typical of the period and its simple. Limestone-covered Kubus was a dominant item of the seasonally changing region of the Balaton-Uplands.
To its perpendicular block, a long stretch of tart-building connects on the ground floor, which includes the service facilities, offices and the main entrance. The building has become worthy of renovating both its exterior and interior during the past forty years, which was justified from the perspective of demands resulting from its changing functions.
The shape and appearance of the main building has been changed in the spirit of this revival. The revival can be observed in the architectural characteristics of the building in the first place. The building has grown with such new fashion that it has preserved its original modern style in details, yet it has also humanized the building as organic installment. This architectural behavior manages value as it is, and it can handle the original building in the way that the building becomes more dynamic, humane and lively with its new context.
It does not turn its back to existing conditions and the architect of modern building, but understanding and accepting them by proceeding from the existing forms, which conclude the architectural logic of the restructuring, thus it creates the harmony of unity with value hiding in the past and with the modern organic architecture.
The most spectacular change in the building is embodied in the ground floor service building’s added floor in which the modern shell structure appearance and the upturned roof resembles to the waves of Balaton and balances the unity of the building. This is a new kind of dynamic component that reminds to Lautner’s or Niemeyer’s free, sweeping ferro-concrete design style.
The arch supports recall the shapes of the surrounding water world in context with the landscape and the atmosphere of lake Balaton. The upward and inverted \”Y\” stands evoke a regular rhythm with the green, yellow and blue glass fields appearing here and there from behind the curtain wall, creating a homogeneous facade texture. The resulting horizontal facade duplication fills the redesigned horizontal building body with life and energy.
Besides maintaining its original features, the tower had been completely redesigned inside and out. Electrical network, inside area coverings, doors and windows have also been modernized. Guest rooms and offices have got renewed, and the total external stonework has also been renovated. The service building has not only been changed but expanded as well. Due to changing needs we had to rationalize the existing features of the ground floor, but a completely new architectural element has also been added to the first floor of the house. In line with the functional needs a new meeting room was built here that is connected to the southern facade corridor with a staircase.
The upstairs meeting room is supplied with a kitchen, a technical room and a spacious south-facade terrace on the flat roof over the main entrance. The existing facility functions have been moved: the library and the museum area were transferred to the pavilioned west wing; IT-, sales and marketing offices were placed to the left side of the main entrance. During the internal transformation new offices and computer classrooms were added to the longitudinal eastern side of the service building, and the catering area got renovated and was given a new entrance. A new wind-sheltered front area and an entrance roof have been added to the main entrance of the central building. The building is accessible with wheelchair via the levelled entrance of the tower.
András Krizsán’s Ybl Prize winning architect new building, which has been rebuilt by contemporary architectural instruments, originates in the reality of the previous building, and it connects original values with a new kind of quality in a rather peculiar way. He further vitalizes the main characteristics of the original main building and its modern style by uniting the reviving forms of organic architecture. The building was nominated for the European Union’s Award of Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2013.
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