Southeast Europe Atrium European Union

„ATRIUM – Architectural Heritage of the Recent Past” Seminar, 7. January 2013

On 7th January 2013 the Seminar “Atchitectural Heritage of the Recent Past” took part within the frame of the ATRIUM (Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes of the XXth Century in Urban Management) project, organized by the Széchenyi István University and the Local Municipality of Győr Town of County Rank. This program which was accredited by the County Chamber of Architects homed by the Architect Atelier of the University. Conforming to the fourth Work Pack of the Project to be implemented by means of the subsidy of the European Union the Seminar gave possibility for introducing and showing the performed work and the tasks to be done.

After the introduction about the whole project the values of built heritage of the XXth century and possibilities for saving them were shown by six architectural and one touristic presentation. In the coffee and meal breaks the participants were invited to the table of the Municipality for a snack lunch.

The participants were addressed by Prof. Dr. Attila Koppány, University Professor, the leader of project as the host-chairman of the Seminar.

The ATRIUM project was introduced by Tamás Horváth Assistant Lecturer. In the presentation he said that the digital catalogue compiled by the 18 partners of 11 countries participating in the international project and

the future cultural route to be approved by the European Union are based on the scientific, architecture historical research work. The results of the research can be partially accessed at the web page of the project. Among the exhibited documents the brochure showing the architecture historical research – in the Hungarian variation of which the study of Gábor Winkler about the city planning history of Győr in the XXth century can be found as well – and English volume presenting and analyzing detailed the results of the research on the basis of the case studies should be mentioned. Presently the staff members of the project participate in working out of a manual summarizing the knowledge of wise management, preservation, reuse and economic valorisation of architectural heritage of totalitarian regimes.

The keynote of the professional presentation was given by the presentation of Prof. Dr. Gábor Winkler about the all-powerful architecture of Győr. The presentation highlighted the several thousand years old past of the monumental architecture which was typical to the mentioned era as well then showed the most important built or not built architectural examples of the dictatorial societies, at last introduced the buildings of Győr already processed or to be processed during the project.


In his presentation titled Motivations and characteristic György Fátrai Associate Professor summarized the building materials, building structures and building technologies used in the second half of the XXth century. The presentation suggestively showed the difference of level between specialist staff having traditional building technological skills in the years after the war and work of the participants of the building industry supposed by the politics of the next era at the same time not having the proper skills which could be seen both in planning and building.

András Veöreös Assistant Professor presented through a Bohemian example, through the reconstruction of the Villa Tugendhat of Brno listed by the list of World Heritage that what monumental values could brought by a building of the XXth century and that in case of a financing system similar to that of our country how a partially ruined building could be reconstructed professionally, focusing to monumental aspects during renovation, along restoring principles.

After the meal break Szabolcs Kiss, designer for the Incorso Építész Műhely presented the renovation plans of the Galgóczi Erzsébet Municipal Library in a spectacular way. The building built in 1978 is ready for face-lifting from both technical and functional points of view. The building permit plans and execution design documentation made within the frame of the ATRIUM project gives a modern, new look to the library expanded with public spaces, keeping in mind the architectural values of the building.

Tibor Kuslits Senior Lecturer presented the building history of the Hungarian “citadel” of the socialist architecture, his birth place, Dunaújváros very truthfully and emotionally. This presentation impartially and excellently described the architectural and attendant art values to be acknowledged of the era under review, placing the subject into a national and international relation system. Through the life path of Tibor Weiner directing the designing work of the newly founded town the public could know the structure of society of that era. After introducing the formation of the urban structure Tibor Kuslits pointed out that historizing typical to the socialist-realistic architecture was a peculiarity of not exclusively the Eastern European dictatorships but it could be seen in the Western, democratic countries in this era as well so it was a world-wide architectural trend independent of any form of government or political arrangements. The value of the presentation was further increased by the comments of Imre Szabó, head architect of Dunaújváros who graced the seminar with his presence.

The list of the architectural presentations was closed by the show of Zsolt Révi, head architect of City Győr. Mr. Révi analysed the issue of making clear, acquaintability and utility of the architectural values – which were obvious for the trade but usually not recognized by inexperts. The architecture of the second half of the XXth century, which is named uniformly socialist-realistic by the everyday language, was divided into three groups: architecture of the 50ies, historizing type architecture of the later socialist era and the modernist type architecture of the same time. The buildings classed into the individual groups – discussed them in an urban structural relationship system – can be thread on well-catchable so well manageable in touristic aspect urban axes. The readiness stage of the development plans makes possible for the town to take the possibilities relating to the architectural heritage of the XXth century as well.

After the architectural presentations Dr. Mátyás Fekete, economist, Professor spoke about the touristic utilization of the architectural heritage of the XXth century approaching from the aspects of tourism. He emphasized the economy stimulating role of tourism then he presented some points for utilizing architectural monuments of generally little value in the eyes of inexperts. He explained that while these monuments themselves could not become touristic targets the events, stories, the description of the social relations between the building process and the use could make them attractive. Then he introduced the structure and significance of the system of European Cultural Routes especially highlighted the routes going to Hungary as well.

In the breaks between the presentations and after the official final speech the lecturers and the guests could talk to each other and a press conference was held.

Written by András Veöreös, photos taken by András Nagy


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