The roof structure of the University of Technology monument building is being renovated
Hungarian version of the article: Felújítják a Műegyetem műemlék épületének tetőszerkezetét
October 14, 2022 at 1:00 PM
Samu Pecz, the architect of the Great Market Hall, the Szilágyi Dezső Square church and the Hungarian National Archives on Bécsi Kapu Square, also took part in the construction of the University's 11th District campus, consisting of several buildings, at the beginning of the 20th century.
The founder of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics as it is today was Joseph II. The institution, which has existed since 1782, operated in several places in the city until finally a suitable location was found in Buda, Lágymányos, on a huge plot of land south of the Liberty Bridge.
The University of Technology from above in an archive photo. In the centre is the main building designed by Alajos Hauszmann, and to the left is the building currently under renovation, designed by Samu Pecz (Source: bme.hu)
The largest, central building of the university was designed by Alajos Hauszmann and was handed over in 1909. At the same time, the much smaller building, which, like the central one, i.e., K-building, was built on the bank of the Danube, based on the plans of Samu Pecz, and whose renovation is currently in progress.
It was also necessary for the buildings housing the various faculties and departments to be completed at the same time since the University of Technology had already started the 1909/10 academic year on its new university campus.
The building designed by Samu Pecz was built for the Technical Mechanics and Agricultural Machinery Laboratory (MM-MG), as can be clearly seen in the contemporary architectural plans. In the past hundred years, the world has changed a lot, there have been huge technical progress, so the faculties and departments of the University of Technology have also adapted to these changes.
The building at 5 Műegyetem Embankment: one side of the decorative roof has already been renovated (Photo: Google Maps)
The Department of Applied Mechanics has existed since the 19th century, but the Department of Agricultural Mechanics, established in 1889, was merged with the Department of Product Design in 1997, and since then it has been operating under the name of the Department of Machine and Product Design. However, Samu Pecz's building has kept the name MM-MG since then, so much so that it is also mentioned in the construction permit plans prepared for the current renovation, as can be seen on the information board posted at the construction site at 5 Műegyetem Embankment.
From the Műegyetem Embankment side, a red brick-covered building can be found with a castle-like appearance that has an ornate roof with quite varied roof shapes. The two-story, U-shaped building extends long into the interior of the site. In the middle of its courtyard stands a characteristic tower, also designed by Samu Pecz, it was still a water tower when it was built, and now there are classrooms on four levels inside.
Information board about the renovation at 5 Műegyetem Embankment. The works are carried out on the MM-MG building, based on the abbreviation of the old names of the departments (Photo: pestbuda.hu)
Part of the roof structure of the listed building has already been renovated, and now the reconstruction of the other half, the wing facing Bertalan Lajos Street, is underway. This southern wing of the building is used by the Department of Machine and Product Design, the other wing by the Department of Applied Mechanics, and here, in the northern wing, we also find the laboratory of the Faculty of Civil Engineering.
In the second phase of the recently started roof reconstruction, 1,192 square metres of glazed Zsolnay roof tiles (coloured, segmented curved tiles) will cover the affected part of the building, the wooden roof structure will be strengthened, seven decorative skylights will be installed, stone restoration work will be carried out, chimneys will be repaired, lights will be installed, and a lightning protection system will be built out, and of course, the insulation is not left behind either. According to the plans, the roof renovation will be completed in the first quarter of 2023.
Scaffolding of the BME MM-MG building at 5 Műegyetem Embankment (Photo: pestbuda.hu)
Samu Pecz also designed several other buildings on the territory of the University, the most famous of which is the library visible from Budafoki Street, but he also designed several buildings on the Bertalan Lajos Street side.
Cover photo: The roof structure of the monument building of the University of Technology is being renovated (Photo: Balázs Both/pestbuda.hu)
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