Iconic Bálna in Budapest to be renovated

Hungarian version of the article: Felújítják a Bálnát és díszkivilágítást is kap a főváros ikonikus épülete

March 9, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Budapest's iconic building, Bálna or the Whale, which has defined the Danube-banks for years, is to be renovated. The structural renovation will see key materials replaced with modern counterparts, but the exterior will not change. Bálna will also receive decorative lighting.

A call for the renovation and development of the Bálna Budapest Cultural and Commercial Center (1093 Budapest,  11–12 Fővám Square) was published on the EU public procurement noticeboard. According to the document, the purpose of the investment is to ensure the structure remains watertight and create decorative illumination while renovating and modernising it.

Bálna, completed in 2013, stands on the banks of the Danube in Ferencváros, aerial photo (Photo: Civertan Graphic Studio)

The call for proposals highlights the need to replace the shell structure of Bálna with more lasting, modern materials. According to the tender, "the development aims to implement an optimized technical solution that is economically feasible and also ensures the structure remains watertight but does not change the external appearance and design of the building."

The appearance of the building will remain unchanged. The contractor's tasks include the renovation of the old buildings' facades, the modernization of the parking system, the installation of electric car chargers in the garage, and the renovation of the exhibition hall and the event hall in the III/B building.

Bálna from Közraktár Street (Photo: google maps)

Bálna is a defining element of the Danube-bank (Photo: Both Balázs / pestbuda.hu)

“The unique, special shape of Bálna during the day is a defining part of the Danube-bank; the building itself is a tourist attraction. However, after dark, nothing of this effect can be experienced due to the lack of adequate lighting in the building,” – states the call for tenders in connection with the decorative illumination.

According to the public procurement tender, “during the design and construction work, a unique decorative illumination concept must be implemented." A total of 1061 RGB LEDs will be installed on the glass structure, 184 lamps on the old building, and 249 metres of LED feeds.

The deadline for submission is 19 April.  Applicants must have references and professional experience.

Cover photo: Bálna will be renovated, and the building on the Danube-bank will also be illuminated (Photo: Balázs Both/pestbuda.hu)

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