Millennium House receives prestigious architecture award

Hungarian version of the article: Építészeti nívódíjat kapott a Millennium Háza

December 4, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Millennium House has received prestigious recognition at the Hungarian Real Estate Development Awards. The renovated cultural institution – one of the oldest buildings in City Park was named best development in the culture category of the awards.

Millennium House, which was renovated as part of the Liget Budapest Project, has received prestigious recognition at the Hungarian Real Estate Development Awards, the FIABCI Hungary – announced Benedek Gyorgyevics, CEO of Városliget Zrt. The beautifully restored cultural institution, one of the oldest and most impressive buildings in City Park, was selected best in the cultural category at the 22nd awards ceremony.

The award means that Millennium House will be allowed to compete in the 2021 international FIABCI World Prix d`Excellence real estate development competition next May.

Millennium House with the Rose garden in front (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

“The institution reborn as Millenium House is an important symbol of the fundamental mission of the Liget Budapest Project: to preserve old values and at the same time renew them in a modern way to meet the demands of the present day. That is why the restoration of the building, aimed to create a Millenium House with a place in the City Park of the future, not only preserving a gem of the past but creating a living, meaningful, visited space in the new cultural district that City Park is becoming. This recognition is thus not only a source of great pride for us but important confirmation that we have achieved our goal" – said Benedek Gyorgyevics, CEO of Városliget Zrt.

The two-year restoration of Millenium House began in 2017 and was carried out according to the original architectural documentation, restoring its imposing spaces inside and out. The main entrance of the building was put back on the side facing Hermina Road, as contemporary plans indicated, and the jewels of the building, its unique Zsolnay ceramics, were also restored.

The unique Zsolnay ceramics were also restored during the reconstruction of the monument (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

A new rose garden was also created as part of the project to renew the landscaping of City Park. The 1,250-square-meter building was restored to be a cultural community space: housing an interactive exhibition space, a café with a small stage, a small auditorium.

Liget Budapest Project has won several awards

The prestigious award is not the first success achieved by the project that aims to renew City Park. Europe's largest cultural investment has been in focus many times in recent years. In 2019, the House of Hungarian Music was named “Best International Public Building” at the International Property Awards after winning the “Best Public Building in Europe” award. This year it was chosen as the best music-themed real estate development in the world at the Music Cities Awards.

The House of Hungarian Music has received several international awards (Photo: Városliget Zrt.)

In 2018, the new building of the Museum of Ethnography was named not only the best public building in Europe, but in the world at the International Property Awards, and even received the World’s Best Architecture Award. In 2017, at the MIPIM real estate trade fair in Cannes, the Liget Budapest Project was awarded as the best major urban development project in Europe in the Best Futura Mega Project category, which collected the largest and most comprehensive projects in the continent. This summer, the largest renovation in the history of the Museum of Fine Arts – also completed within the framework of the Liget Budapest project – won the Europa Nostra Award, a prestigious awards honouring the protection of cultural heritage.

Millennium House was designed by Ferenc Pfaff, for the National General Exhibition of 1885 as a Kunsthalle and according to contemporary critics, was one of the most beautiful elements of the exhibition due to its unique Zsolnay ornaments. However, it proved to be too small to house exhibitions almost immediately. A few years later the much larger present-day Kunsthalle building was built in City Park.

The building housed an exhibition of the Budapest History Museum from 1907 to 1936; the photograph was taken around 1940 (Photo: Fortepan)

The house was later used to house the Budapest History Museum. It was damaged during the Second World War, and its original interior decorations were also destroyed. In the fifties, following the creation of the Művészeti Alap ('Art Fund'), the building became a studio for sculptors. Later it became the headquarters of the Képzőművészeti Kivitelező Vállalat ('Fine Arts Contractors' Company'). This was when the building's interior was given an office-like character. In 1994, the Magyar Alkotóművészeti Közalapítvány ('Public Foundation for Hungarian Artists') received the building as the successor of the Művészeti Alap. However, the organisation was unable to find a cultural use for the building. The Liget Budapest Project made way for the renovation and preservation of the building, which had been due for many decades.

The Hungarian Real Estate Association, FIABCI Hungary, first organized the Hungarian Real Estate Development Awards in 1997 to recognise excellence in Hungarian real estate development, promoting these projects before the Hungarian professional and wider public and, last but not least, to facilitate participation in the FIABCI World Prix d`Excellence, an international real estate development competition.

To achieve this final goal, the Hungarian Real Estate Development Awards criteria and schedule align with those of the international prize. The previous winners of the 21 Hungarian Real Estate Development Awards have represented Hungary on the international stage with great success, winning 24 gold and 35 silver medals.

The Paris-based FIABCI – International Real Estate Federation – organises an annual competition, the FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence, the results of which will be announced in May 2021 at the 72nd congress of FIABCI 72 in Paris. The winners of the Hungarian Real Estate Development Award are entitled to participate in the FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence awards and attend the gala dinner.

Source: Városliget Zrt.

Cover photo: Millenium House winds architectural prize

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