L'Ungheria presenta æctivators. Locally active architecture.
How can a group of young architects find their home in today’s world without money and commissions?
Only if they create a suitable environment for themselves, from which the local community can also profit. The North Hungarian town of Eger presents a great example of this.
“We contacted the local government to provide us with a building that no one finds the inspiration to refurbish and just keeps piling up unwanted expenses.We were granted a 15-year lease of the decaying state-owned building located in the middle of anold park
We had outlined a sustainable model hinged on local needs: we had undertaken to implement a value-added reconstruction and fill the building with cultural content.In defining our aesthetic standards, our guideline was to satisfy the basic technical requirements, but in terms of usability, we sought to achieve maximal functionality. In a collaboration involving the social sphere, the institutional sphere and the construction industry, we managed to realize an exemplary renovation, making the most efficient use of onlyalready available resources, entirely without seed capital and cash flow.We reversed the usual course of planning: first, we found material support for the required tasks and then came up with architectural solutions to match the materials offered by sponsors. In less than a year, we managed to fill the building with content, and using the construction materials received and recycling the objects found on site, we wrapped it in a new exterior.In addition to NGO sponsors and our contacts in the construction industry, we managed to involve students of a local polytechnic high school and convicts from the local penal institution.The planning process gained new meaning, and the construction became a collective activity, which even pushed the building itself slightly into the background: the greatest added value of the project turned out to be the growing social network of organizers and collaborators.Owing to the architectural intervention, a building that was once considered worthless has become a space full of life: a small but emblematic example of the power of community and the will to make a difference.”