Rebuilding the former Hungarian Red Cross Headquarters

Commissioned by the Red Cross Society of the Hungarian Holy Crown Countries, the headquarters was designed by the office of Alajos Hauszmann in 1901. Completed by July of the following year, the building housed the Red Cross Headquarters, the Hungarian Royal Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Ministry, and tenement apartments. The historicist palace building on the southeast corner of Dísz Square was an integral part of the Buda Castle District's skyline until the end of World War II. It could have been saved despite the shelling during the war, but for ideological reasons, it was completely demolished in 1946. For decades it stood as a neglected lot in one of the most visited places in the Buda Castle. 

The complete reconstruction under the National Hauszmann Program aims to restore the original façade design, the mass and layout of the palace, and the interior representative rooms (ceremonial hall, ceremonial staircase) to their original state. The plans for the new building were drawn based on architectural and historical documentation, original plans and archive photographs, period documents, the remaining on-site parts of the basement, and archaeological excavations' findings. The exterior features of the reborn building follow the original eclectic, historical five-story design, with corner domes. 

We recycled the remaining foundation walls, as the structural analysis made sure that the original basement walls in good condition could be retained and used to support the new structures to be built. The vertical supporting elements are thus the street and inner courtyard façade walls, following the original geometry, and the row of pillars along the central main wall, which makes the internal circulation and the spatial connections more flexible. 

The interiors are designed using contemporary elements and state-of-the-art M&E services and installations. A spacious atrium has been created by covering the top floor of the inner courtyard with a glass roof. 

With the renewal of the former Hungarian Red Cross Headquarters, the former cityscape scar will disappear: a partial enclosure will be created in the square, in harmony with the already restored Carmelite Monastery and the National Defence Headquarters building, which is also being rebuilt.

Location: Budapest, I. district, Hungary - Buda Castle, Dísz Square
Function: office
Phase: under construction
Type: commission
Client:  Várkapitányság Nonprofit Zrt.
Architecture: TIBA Építész Stúdió
Lead Architects: Balázs Beczner, Zoltán Király
Architect Designers: Zoltán Bozsik, Zita Csányi, Mónika Darida, Gabriella Elekes, Veronika Hajas, Viktória Honti, Zsófia Jakó-Andrejkó, Norman Kakas, Dániel Kócsó, Máté Novák, Eszter Schmolczer, Dávid Szmetana 
Heritage and reconstruction design: Gyula Csáky - MentArtis Kft.
Design: 2020-2022 
Construction: 2022-2024
Gross floor area: 8200 m2