HUNGARIAN AUTOCLUB HEADQUARTERS
We received the design work for the new headquarters of the Hungarian auto club (Magyar Autóklub) by winning a design competition, in which it was important for the client to create a simple but emblematic building in line to join the other European auto club headquarters. Our competition offered to create a sculpture-like building in an intricate environment exploiting the freestanding built-in, the notion is based on a simple gesture: a backfolding solid ribbon glazed on both sides. We did not anticipate on winning this commission on account of the buildings’ specific form, but eventually the plan was initiated without the concept being violated. It was confirmed that the simpler the building’s appearance is, the more attentive work is necessary. The thickness of the approximately one-meter broad ribbon which forms the curling arch varies, and as it ascends it also shifts sideways. As a result of this, the vertical section containing the elevator and stair shafts does not arrive in the same place and with the same width where and how it initially began. The material choice for the two key elements — the shell and the enclosed box — is in line with the initial idea: the shell is a metal-covered reinforced concrete belt without breakthroughs. Inside, on both sides there is a seven-storey-high glass curtain wall which bounds the inner space. The shell is undisturbed by superstructures or shafts, this appearance is enabled by the innovative geothermic energy supply, which was a new technology at the time. Customer service spaces are located on the ground floor, additional customer service offices and internal usage offices are located above and a large roof terrace is placed on the top floor beneath the arch. The building stands next to the newly-planned Danube bridge axis, so with time it can become a characteristic point of arrival, the gate of Újpest. When considering the installation, we took in mind the geometric parameters as well.