Sleeper magazine 2nd
Even at first glance you realise something happening ont he Danube as the glass-panelled facade of the Lánchíd 19 gentle ripples int he breeze. It’s enough to almost cause an accident as the passing drivers rubberneck for a better view.
They need to stand back to the bit, under the trees of the embankment to fully appreciate the creativity of local design co-operative Szövetség 39 and NextTab. The five-story facade that covers the front of the hotel above the arcaded street level incorporates a number of themes based on the proximity of the hotel to the river. „The facead is the dialogue with the Danube” explains architect Péter Sugár of Radius B+S”. A glass curtain that reflects and reacts to the Danube. Beyond this is also work as a dialogue with the city the environmetn, history and the guest. There is more but most strikingly the facade presents the hotel’s celebration of the local creativity, which extends to the staff uniforms designed by „USE-unused Hungary’s fashion designer of the year 2007.
A glass facade standing in front of the guestroom windows was always envisaged by Radius B+S but after selecting the commision by competitions movement lighting and patterning were introduced. A subtle series of lines and minute aqatic motils are eched and baked ont he glass panels are diffeing densities come together to create an overwall sense of flowing motions… just like the water of the dark Danube, churling around the supports of William Tierly Clark’s Chain Bridge fom which the hotel takes its name. This wave like imagery contains a number of objects that might be found in the river- a diver, a lost ring or discarded bottle. On top of this is the suoer-statued eching of ower Csaba Valkó’s thumbprint- the whorl pattern reminiscant of those created when a stone is thrown into the water.
The facade is interactive in that guest can Jemos Bond style rotate the panel outside their room for a clearer view of the Pest riverbank opposite. During an emergency the panels will automatically concertina back on their chain-link mechnism for the fire brigade access. In addition to swinging in the breeze the facade also interects in the environment by way of a roof-mounted sensor taht alters the colour intensities of the LED lighting at night –more yellow if warmer greener if colder. The introduction is the lit facade will date postcard views of a castle forevermore. Planning approval for the project was no problem. In fact, the city was pleased to be rid of the „missing tooth, that the former two-storey elevation caused amongs its higher neighbours in the predominantly 19th Century run of buildings that sit beneath the UNESCO World Heritage site of Buda Castle. The former stable block used to sit behind the place of the Széchényi family that was destroyed during the Second World War. This vacant space now gives the Lánchíd 19 its river views. The pillars of the arcade depict sylies butterfly imagines recessed into the concrete in reverence to the wealth architectural detairing int he neighbouring buildings.
The river and thumbprint themes continue inside. The underside of walkways that cross the light filled atrum are backfield with a ripple-effect pattern. The light reflecting off the chunky glass in the mosaic in the guest bathroom creates a wave-like refrection ont he wall. The refrected idea is always used to the hotel’s off-set font fine for words but the less clear room numbers. Meanwhile a few other fingerprints smudge the scene- Managing Director Rozsos Edit is all ower the glass floor of her secret lounge that tops the exposed archaeological ruin of the 14th century well unearthed during constraction. Sugár and colleague Benczúr László have theirs on the top face and balustrated of the atrium walkways. However you wouldn’t readily notice these endeavours straight away. Nor the stories behind the guest room artwork
These are the brainchild of Dóra Fonágy of d24 and are just of the design focus programme that was represented at last year’s Hungarian Design Week. Further developments of the concept will include the hotel’s public space, gastronomy and design shop. The artwork in the guest room has been concived.