The Pallas Athéné Domus Sapientiae Foundation received the Pro Architectura award on November 15 for the renovated building of the House of Wisdom, completed last year. This is a worthy recognition of a historic site which has survived several sieges, fires and always functioned as one of the centres of the Castle District throughout its 800-year history. The building of the former Buda Town Hall, declared to be a monument site, has hosted many prestigious cultural events, professional conferences, unique exhibitions, exciting book launches, and creative craft workshops since its careful and professional restoration.

The Pro Architectura Award is given to impressive buildings and outstanding architectural works which are designed to preserve, promote, and pass down to the next generations the ever renewing, yet classical Hungarian architectural culture and values. The restoration works on the House of Wisdom between 2014 and 2018 were carried out in this spirit from the very start. The common goal of the Pallas Athéné Foundation and Hetedik Műterem Kft., the contractor in charge of design, was to display both the building’s historic past and modern times in its interiors, facade, and external image. Levente Szabó, the senior architect told us that he had not suspected during the reconstruction that their “efforts” would be recognised by such a prestigious prize. He also said that hundreds of people had worked during the four years of restoration to modernise and recreate the historic building in a way that meets all needs of the 21st century. Not only architects, engineers, and contractors but also researchers, archaeologists, and historians contributed to the reconstruction. They also used old drawings, notes, new research results, and historical findings to restore the former glory of this wonderful building in the most precise way.

Maximum ten Pro Architectura Awards may be awarded a year. The same natural person, legal entity, or community may receive the prize only once in five years. The received tenders were evaluated by a professional jury of nine, headed by Zsolt Füleky, Deputy State Secretary for Architectural and Construction Affairs. Based on the decision of the professional committee, the award was handed over to the successful tenderers, including the Pallas Athéné Domus Sapientiae Foundation by Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office. The Foundation offers the reward for charity purposes.