IBS has moved to GRAPHISOFT PARK! The new semester started in the state-of-the-art, extensively renovated ‘vintage’ gas factory buildings. Read about the history of this remarkable location.
The territory of Graphisoft Park once belonged to the Roman settlement called Aquincum, there was a Roman cemetery for civilians here.In the 20th century, a gas factory and an adjoining living complex were constructed on the site. Graphisoft Park incorporates some of the old buildings that once belonged to this gas factory. Today the cleaned and re-functioned site is a complex where top companies of the world have their regional offices. Before the construction works of the new buildings of Graphisoft Park mandatory archeological excavations explored several precious artifacts. The excavations were led by Gábor Lassányi who published his findings, which you can read online. Read here!
Preservation and restoration of old industrial buildings is a relatively new phenomenon. These buildings represent an aesthetic that once was not considered beautiful, and in the 1980s they probably would have been demolished. It is a challenge to clean and re-function industrial sites, so called brownfields. Today these factories, warehouses have new functions, the old brick look hides air-conditioned up-to-date offices, museums, or educational institutions. Some examples for the reuse of old buildings can be seen here.
The combination of the absolute contemporary and the respectable old environment, the cohabitation of present and past, offers a unique value for an international business school, not to mention that working and studying in close proximity with the leading representatives of the business world, in a business park, provides a clear reflection of the mission of the school.
A Short History of the Óbuda Gas Factory What was a gas factory? At the end of the 19th century gas was used mainly for the lighting of public spaces, streets.With time, the private use of gas became more and more widespread, and the small, privately owned gas factories could not meet the increasing demand. Therefore the Committee of Budapest decided to build a bigger central gas factory.The construction works of the factory began on 12 May 1910, testing the factory started in October 1913 and the whole building complex was inaugurated on 15 June 1914. Where to build a gas factory? An ideal site for a gas factory is a location that has good railway and road connections and has rich supply of water from a nearby natural source. The territory of Graphisoft Park by the Danube river proved to be a good choice and, after the elaboration of several construction plans, that of Albert Weiss’ was accepted both for the factory and for the adjacent buildings for the workers of the factory.
More than 100 Hungarian companies, entrepreneurs and their 1700 employees worked on the construction. Within the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, for patriotic feelings it was a major point for the Committee of Budapest to employ local Hungarian companies in order to support Hungarian entrepreneurs by providing them with work. Between 1912 and 1914 a site,houses, apartments, little villas (as well as laundry houses, pubs, grocery, post-office, school) were built for the workers and factory administrators in vernacular art nouveau style. More pictures here and here.
The factory itself was a huge investment, one of the most up-to-date gasfactory of its time. A 11 km long railway was built for the transportation of the coal that was required for the production of gas.
The most characteristic building of the whole site was the Water Tower with a huge clock and the three huge Gasometers. Source: Óbuda Museum, 100 éves az Óbudai Gázgyár, curated by Gulyásné Anikó Gömöri The factory was producing gas until 1980. Its closing down was urged by the switching to natural gas sources.The energy crisis of the 1980s however kept the factory working yet for a time. Eventually the factory was closed in 1984, leaving the site and some of the buildings in a deteriorated, ruined condition. See video here.
You can read more about the completely renovated and the new buildings of the Park here or check out the map of the new IBS campus buildings on our website.