BUDAPEST, 30KV TRANSFORMER HOUSE REUTILIZATION PROPOSAL 2017
Electricity production in the Kelenföld Power Station started in June 1914, in connection with the electrification program of the capital. Before World War II, 30kV direct consumer cables were used to meet the growing demands for electricity; this was the task of the 30 kV transformer house, adjoining the building of the thermal power plant still in use today.
The construction works of the transformer house were completed in 1930. The pre-modern, hall-like, listed industrial building of reinforced concrete structure has an underground connection with the former pump house, a listed building as well. The cooling water taken from the Danube flows through the pump house into the belowground reservoir of the transformer house; then further, to the thermal power plant for utilization.
The switchgear and the engine room are connected through a bridge-like section of the building, accommodating the control room. The machines and the entire 30 kV switchgear had been monitored, supervised and controlled from this room. Most of the equipment, which was considered word-class quality at its time, was manufactured by the Hungarian industry.
In our architectural concept we analyzed the possibilities of reutilizing the empty building, which has lost its function. We examined whether the abandoned spaces of a building that was “tailor-made” to the requirements of a perfectly defined, specialized operation process could accommodate a different function, while maintaining the architectural generosity and elegance of the spaces? The key to provide appropriate answers was the creation of a passage system, exploring and connecting the spaces of the building both horizontally and vertically. The long hall between the two naves of the building was transformed to a passage, also incorporating the vertical access cores to the upstairs spaces.
The reconstruction of the original façade and glass roof restores the natural illumination and ventilation of most interior spaces; replacing the ceiling over the passage with a glass roof provides additional light for the remaining passage areas.
With the reutilization of the building, the existing industrial structures have to accommodate new functions, inevitably necessitating the transformation and partial dismantling of structures serving the former technology. In the process, a fine balance has to be found to preserve the unique ambience of the building provided by its industrial character, while meeting the needs of the new functions.
Péter Kis, Zsolt Krausz, Brigitta Sinkovics
Visualization by: Lars Lovas, Zsolt Krausz