Having received the ICOMOS Prize, the Budapest Award for Excellence in Architecture, and the Pro Architectura Award, the beautifully restored building of the former Buda Town Hall has been recognised by another prestigious award. The House of Wisdom, the architect tasked with the renovation, and the designer team received recognition in the category “monument restoration and building rehabilitation” in the tender for Award for Excellence in Construction (Építőipari Nívódíj), published for the 19th time in 2019.

The Award for Excellence in Construction has been founded by the National Federation of Hungarian Building Contractors (ÉVOSZ) and the Architecture Association (Építéstudományi Egyesület), which celebrates the 70th anniversary of its existence this year. Tenders could be submitted by organisations which had completed facilities with a final cost of at least 100 million HUF net, receiving an occupancy permit at least one year prior. According to informations from the award’s Board of Trustees, 23 tenders were submitted by the deadline in 2019, out of which 13 buildings were awarded the Award for Excellence in Construction and 6 tenderers received a Certificate of Recognition from the committee. The Award for Excellence in Construction is also embodied by the brass plate located in the building, listing the creators’ names. The solemn dedication of these plates will take place in the spring of 2020.

The facilities of the submitted entries represent a high standard in terms of both planning and execution. The Jury consisting of 18 members of the tender publishers evaluated the tenders based on the submitted documentation and the on-the-spot inspections. The key aspects of the evaluation were as follows: the general architectural and technical evaluation of the facilities, the technical standard and professionalism of the execution, the cost effectiveness and sustainable manageability of the investment as well as the cooperation between the creators, especially the investors, designers, and implementers. In addition to the reconstruction of the House of Wisdom, recipients of this year’s Award for Excellence in Construction included such significant and high-quality projects as the Sports and Leisure Center of Felcsút, the kindergarten of the Szent Orsolya Roman Catholic Grammar and Elementary School of Sopron, the shared office headquarters of Telekom and T-Systems, the Ecodome Office Building in Budapest, and the reconstruction of the Roman Hall of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The Old City Hall of Buda dating back 800 years is a truly emblematic building, and its restoration took place in multiple phases, respecting the principles of monument protection. The architect team led by Levente Szabó (Hetedik Műterem Kft.) had set two main goals during the restoration: on the one hand, preserving the architectural values of the Baroque building, which also contains numerous Medieval elements and has undergone many reconstructions and bears all of their characteristics; and on the other hand, transforming the building in a high-quality way so as to enable it to function as an excellent education facility which is adapted to today’s technical needs. This dual goal could be realised in a very high standard. In addition to the historically authentic reconstruction of the cellar reaching to the cave system under the castle hill, of the classy rooms, passages, and stairways, the attic with larch beams was also built in, and the two yards were covered by a shaded glass roof. The building has become one of the new jewels of the Buda Castle.