Budapest Block Rehabilitation Project Wins Property Development Oscar
Ferenc Sullivan 2016.05.26.
The Ferencváros block rehabilitation scheme launched in 1990 has become the first Hungarian project to win the most eminent international accolade in the architecture profession, the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence for the year 2016. Top architectural achievements are recognised by the international award, equivalent to an Oscar in the profession, and for the first time in the 61 years since its inception, a Hungarian entry has won the prize in the category known as “Master Plan” (Urban development).
The announcement was made at a presentation ceremony held yesterday, 25 May, in Panama, Central America.
With a 61-year history, FIABCI is the largest and most extensive international property trade alliance, having divisions in more than 120 professional organisations in 60 countries worldwide. The best property developments in the world receive prizes in the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence International Award competition.
In Ferencváros, Budapest District IX, as a result of developments completed in recent decades, 1200 residences have been renovated and more than a thousand families have been able to move into modern homes. Just for projects initiated by the local government, several hundred billion Hungarian forints have been spent, partly from their own resources, partly from grant monies.
The long term project also helped private investors get in the mood for construction: in the last twenty years, more than 150 residential property developments have been completed, in which a total of 7 thousand new homes were built and 76 thousand square metres of park and playground were established in the district.
“Central Ferencváros is a section of District IX of close to 80 hectares with 44 blocks. Never having had particularly high prestige, by the time the complex development process was launched, this city section had deteriorated to a considerable degree. In terms of the indices reflecting all major social conditions (employment rate, educational levels, income levels), in 1990 Ferencváros lay significantly below the average for Budapest. As a result of the successful urban renovation operations, by the mid 2000s people were not longer leaving District IX, in fact, a persistent influx has been observed since then”, Dr. János Bácskai, mayor of the district representing the country’s governing centre-right Fidesz-KDNP alliance, said.
In the FIABCI competition, the main criteria for the international jury were the concept and result of the property development, the architectural standard, the quality of workmanship and the standard of technical solutions employed, as well as environmental awareness. Besides these, the efficiency of the development was assessed, as well as the social utility of the property development and its present utilisation.
When evaluating the Ferencváros block rehabilitation, the jury took into account that it satisfies social requirements optimally and in a complex manner. In addition, they emphasised the overall quality of the development and the standard of operation, not merely awarding points for aesthetics, dimensions or functional features.