Architecture news: letter from Hungary
If we had to pick just one of the design trends brewing amidst the most recent offerings from the growing contemporary Hungarian architecture scene, it would be the country's eager revisiting of raw concrete building.
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The ongoing infrastructure development of the capital's new metro line, an impressive concrete composition designed by Sporaarchitects (above), is a case in point. Local architects are cleverly navigating the trusty material's inevitable references to austere soviet-era structures, while working within the current framework of the modern Hungarian post-communist society. Still, they have to wrestle with construction quality issues on a daily basis.
Another issue on the Hungarian architects' radar is the question of functional urban spaces. As a result, former industrial areas are being rehabilitated; urban gardeners instigate guerrilla action; and renovations breath new life to abandoned but protected old buildings. Universities and local municipalities use grants and private funds to pick up the bills behind those few large-scale developments still running despite the current financial turmoil in Europe.