“The building of the headquarters of MOL has been in the neighbourhood for fifty years, so we don’t need to change our identity” said Zsolt Hernádi, the president-managing director of the company. He added that he thinks that the office building will be “very cool” and that they want to have the best headquarters on a regional level.
This is how he justified that the company commissioned Finta Studio, the Hungarian partner of one of the world’s most illustrious architectural companies, Foster + Partners, with the designing. “It was a compromise for us that we had to work in an office that was built fifty years ago, now we want to create the new headquarters without compromises.” The president added that the more than 2,000 workers of MOL currently work in 11 buildings in 5 districts, which makes things difficult.
Regarding the expenses, Zsolt Hernádi emphasized that the project will be financed by MOL. Based on the plans, the laying of the foundation stone will happen in 2018, and the building will be done by 2020.
“If quick pace is important for anyone, then it’s us, trust me” joked the president.
For that matter, it’s quite interesting that Minister of Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár once said at a conference that if something is taller than the Parliament, it is the symbol of greed. Moreover, he said that buildings taller than the Parliament and the Saint Stephen’s Basilica shouldn’t be built in the capital.
The new headquarters will also be open to the public. The country’s highest lookout terrace will be built on the top floor, from where anyone can admire the panorama of Budapest. There’s also going to be an open hall with shops and cafés on the ground floor.
The plans are connected to the London-based company, which was founded by Sir Norman Foster fifty years ago. Their most famous work is probably the Swiss Re Tower, commonly known as the “Gherkin”, but they were also the ones who designed the Wembley Stadium, the new building of the Reichstag and the Steve Jobs Theatre.
Foster and Partners only had one unrealized project in Budapest so far: businessman Péter Csipák wanted to build an office at Vörösmarty Square with a top that looked like a zeppelin. The 40 billion forint worth project was swept away by the crisis in the end.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/MOL