Zoltán FEHÉRVÁRI (art historian)
Not many people know that Alfréd HAJÓS was not only an excellent athlete, but also a major architect who designed many public and residential buildings in Budapest and in the countryside. His most famous works are the Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium in Budapest and the Aranybika Hotel in Debrecen. In 2010, he posthumously received the Ybl Award. The venue of the exhibition, FUGA’s main hall in Petőfi Sándor street No. 5, is perhaps the most authentic location for a HAJÓS exhibition, as the building’s ground floor and portal were remodeled by him in 1912. In addition to his original drawings, plans and archive photographs, the exhibition presents the current state of some of his buildings through a photo series by Tibor ZSITVA. The aim of the exhibition is to acquaint the public with Alfréd HAJÓS, the architect.
Alfréd HAJÓS (Budapest, February 1, 1878 – Budapest, November 12, 1955) won two Olympic gold medals in swimming in 1896, at the first modern Olympics in Athens. After graduating from the Technical University in 1899, he worked in the offices of Ignác ALPÁR and Ödön LECHNER. In 1907, he opened his own architecture studio. He won many tenders, included that of the Balassagyarmat Tribunal, the Miskolc County Savings Bank, the Budapest Headquarters of the Hungarian Shipping Company and the Debrecen Chamber of Commerce, the Aranybika Hotel in Debrecen, the Lőcse High School, the Synod Center of the Reformed Church in Budapest, and the Munkácsy Street Hotel also in Budapest. In 1924, he won a silver medal at the Intellectual Olympics for his Budapest Stadium design, where no first prize was awarded.
His first major sports facility was the Megyeri út sports center in Újpest, but his greatest achievement in this genre was the Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium. It was the world’s first indoor swimming stadium, and the building served as a European standard for formulating design programs for sports facilities for a long time. The building is defined by a bold use of reinforced concrete as well as its modern spatial use and facades. He continued to design sports facilities, including facilities in Miskolc, Pápa, Szeged, Kaposvár, Balassagyarmat, Győr and Mátészalka, and based on his ideas, recreational public pools were built in Újpest and in Pünkösdfürdő. In 1949 he graduated from the Budapest University of Technology with an honors diploma. In addition to designing public buildings and residential buildings, he carried out active and selfless sports-related work. In 1953, he was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in Mexico City for being the only Olympic sportsman in the world who had achieved Olympic success in the intellectual sphere as well. He came up with the idea of building People’s Stadium (now Ferenc Puskás Stadium), and has an important role in his design.
Sponsors: Budapest Bank for Budapest´ Foundation, National Cultural Fund of Hungary