A puppet theatre, an orangery and a water tower are all part of the Esterházy Palace in Fertőd, Hungary. These buildings became decayed over the years; renovation not only preserved these buildings but also made them suitable for their new purpose as an event location. Sustainability played an important role during the entire renovation process.

Project details

Reference object
Esterházy Palace in Fertod,Hungary
– puppet theatre, orangery and water
tower
Architect
M Architects Ltd., Csaba Molnár DLA,
Viktor Szentkuti, Dénes Halmai
Client
National Office for Cultural Heritage
Hungary
Block bricks used
Porotherm 30 N+F
Porotherm 25-38 N+F

Esterházy Palace in Fertod, Hungary

Esterházy Palace Fertod, Hungary©Zsolt Batár

Esterházy Palace in Fertod, Hungary

Esterházy Palace Fertod, Hungary©Zsolt Batár

Esterházy Palace in Fertod, Hungary

Esterházy Palace Fertod, Hungary©Zsolt Batár

Esterházy Palace in Fertod, Hungary

Esterházy Palace Fertod, Hungary©Zsolt Batár

Esterházy Palace in Fertod, Hungary

Esterházy Palace Fertod, Hungary©Zsolt Batár

Esterházy Palace in Fertod, Hungary

Esterházy Palace Fertod, Hungary©Zsolt Batár

Transformation into an art complex

Built in the 17th century the buildings form a unit, which is located within the palace´s baroque gardens. The aim of the renovation was to reconstruct the facades, the roof structures and the interiors to make them ready for their new purpose as an event center and concert hall. The project owner, the National Office for Cultural Heritage ensured that the restoration of the baroque architecture was based on scientific and archaeological research. An entire abandoned ruin had to be transformed into a well-functioning and sustainable art complex.

Local materials

Apart from the historic aspect, sustainability was an important topic in the entire renovation process. During construction care was taken that only local raw materials such as clay bricks and limestone were used. The work was conducted with local manpower. This was the result of a deliberate procurement process, which was strongly encouraged right from the start.

New energy

The whole building complex was redesigned to use geothermal / solar energy in order to reduce energy costs in the longterm and the necessary infrastructure has been constructed to meet this demand. A heat recovery system was integrated and already is in use. M Architects say: “Our team understands the role which contemporary architects play in  designing and building more responsible and sustainable buildings with the smallest possible environmental footprint.”

Rebuilding the past

Over the years the walls of the puppet theatre had lost a considerable part of their plaster due to several modifications; before the project started it had been used as a granary. The remaining plaster was retained on the partly exposed brick walls. The restoration was conducted using historic clay blocks from the region, reflecting the sustainable approach. The visible roof structure, based on historical descriptions, reflects the original mansard roof. The orangery was restored with clay bricks to its original purpose: housing the orange trees and plants from the baroque garden during the winter. Therefore the original heating was reconstructed. However, in summer the space can be used to host events. Completely destroyed in the past, the water tower was completely rebuilt using clay bricks, according to the original design. If an event takes place in the location it now
functions as a facility area and links the orangery and the puppet theatre. It can also be used as a small exhibition room for up to 20 visitors.

A new life

After the successful renovation and utilization of the whole complex, it is a prime example of eighteenth century splendor. The baroque feeling and the excellent acoustics of the concert hall attract many visitors. In addition, all of the buildings are now prepared to operate with geothermal energy in the future and the environmental impact has been kept to a minimum.

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