The renovation of the Paris Court in downtown Budapest has finally been completed. Over 200 companies took part in this magnificent building’s restoration to its former glory.
Magyar Építők took a tour around the freshly renovated building with some of the key developers as their guides.
The new hotel will be part of the Hyatt special hotel chain, the purpose of which is to bring together those hotels that are located in buildings that are unique because of their architecture, history or location. So far, 16 hotels are part of this chain; the latest was opened in the building that hosts the Louvre, but there are plans to establish a hotel inside the Scotland Yard in London.
It took altogether 4.5 years to restore one of Budapest’s most beautiful buildings and to save the values it represents, turning it into a five-star hotel. Some of the most important developers are Market Építő Zrt., Archikon Építésziroda and the Óbuda Group.
The project, however, has been challenging and difficult at times due to the complex tasks and unexpected turns, but the exceptional professionals did their best to restore the deteriorated Paris Court to its former glory – said Sándor Bajnok, Market’s technical director.
The eclectic building was opened in 1913 and once had one of the largest ceramic façades in Europe:
there were around 200 ceramic pieces around each window, adding up to 60-70 thousand pieces. Altogether 10 thousand plates had to be replaced on the façade, out of the hundreds of thousands. This took 100 experts 85 thousand hours.
The replaced pieces were manufactured by the Zsolnay porcelain manufacturer, but since the old recipe was lost, the company had to experiment until they got the ingredients right.
There are 100 windows with leaded glass in the staircase, and the price of one square metre of leaded glass is roughly 200-250 thousand forints (EUR 620-775).
The most beautiful element of the whole building is the lobby, the ceiling of which is electric glass (creating the illusion of natural sunlight in all conditions).
The size of this glass in such an establishment is unique in the world.
Another challenge was to synchronise the copper and cast iron surfaces with different types and colours of paint, as there was barely any light in the building, and everything was covered in dust.
János Hermesz, the project manager from Párizs Property Kft., told Magyar Építők that it was obvious from the beginning that the building was neglected for decades, and even if some renovation works took place, they were done without expertise.
Hermesz recounts some of the difficulties they had to face:
“The lower two floors were wet and mouldy, the ceramics on the outer surface were loose, and some of them were falling out.
However, we could not determine the exact state of the building with diagnostics – this was only certain when all of the foreign structures were taken down.”
Thanks to modern technology and materials, the team could not only restore the former quality but in some cases, they delivered better results.
The renovation work was delayed, and the plans had to be modified. Originally, only a quarter of the ceiling was to be replaced, but after five months, it turned out that three quarters needed replacement, while the remaining one quarter could be renovated. Because of this, the whole process was slowed down, as further works could not commence. Luckily, all parties made a compromise and agreed that in order to restore this building properly, more time was needed.
Market Építő took over the building at the end of September 2015, and since then, 2500 people have worked on the project.
In the new five-star hotel, a conference room capable of seating 90 people and 110 rooms (18 suites, 2 residencies) were developed on six floors.
The basement had to be reconstructed: in order to increase the clear height, the floor had to be lowered, and the foundation strengthened with jet grouting. On the ground floor, a restaurant, a bar, the lobby and other public spaces were established.