A classicist vision

In one of the most valuable places of Budapest, at the gates of the Buda Castle, an original Ybl Villa is being reborn. We are planning a daring yet respectfully conservative interpretation of the old building that lives up to the needs of the 21st century on UNESCO World Heritage premises.

The history of the building, which is situated on the slopes of the Buda Castle right on the corner of Kiraly Lepcso and Hunyadi Janos street, dates back to the 12th century. Once this place was scattered with craftsman houses then the Turks built the Gold Bastion together with a line of defense that connected the river Danube with the castle in 1685. This former bastion was the basis of the three-storey family residence of prime minister Count Lonyay designed by Miklos Ybl in classicist style between 1870 and 1872. During World War II it was completely destroyed by a bombing attack. At the time of the reconstruction of the Buda Castle the remaining ruins were entirely cleared and the site was bare and empty for 50 years.

In 1996 the land was purchased by Budapanorama Ltd. that intended to establish a world-class cultural and gastronomical centre there. Local municipality regulations demanded that the new building must follow the original classical style of the villa designed by Ybl. After the archeological explorations the building became structurally complete and in 2006 our studio was entrusted with its planning.

We chose innovative architectural solutions for the complicated functional and constructional needs of the building and the high priority needs of our client.

The classicist facade appears on the past heritage like a holographic vision. The old design is beautifully depicted in the new limestone casing that was applied on a total number of 48 55 cm wide, 8cm thick reinforced concrete panels. The spellbinding old style panels can open up on a push of a button showing the breathtaking panorama of Budapest and sharing the secrets of the building with the city. The new design thus blends in perfectly well with the historic location. 

The preliminary plans of the original owner of the now five-storey building included an elegant champagne bar, exhibition rooms, cultural lounges and a bar and restaurant among roses on the garden level plus an amphitheatre-like auditorium built on the grounds of the old bastion.  The interior spaces were designed by such world classics such as Tadao Ando or the London atmosphere designer Ilse Crawford. The building is currently owned by Pallas Athéné Domus Sapientiae Foundation who plan to further improve the building so it can be used for educational and cultural purposes.

Project Info

  • Project Name VILLA Budapest
  • Location Budapest, Hungary
  • Project Year 2006-
  • Client Pallas Athéné Domus Sapientiae Foundation (PADS)
  • General Design BORD Architectural Studio
  • Head Architect Péter Bordás
  • Coordinating Architect Róbert Benke, Dorka Hindy
  • Architect Team Tamás Bordás, János Buchta, Róbert Gulyás, Annamária Holovits, Móni Simon, Júlia Szendrői, Tamás Tolvaj
  • Mechanical Engineering BORD Architectural Studio - Zoltán Hollókövi
  • Photographer Dániel Végel