Így élt Schossberger Klára, a festőművész

HUF 4.5 billion to be spent on the renewal of the Schossberger Castle of Tura

Up to HUF 4.5 billion is to be spent on the renewal of the Schossberger Castle of Tura by the first quarter of 2019 as the investment of BDPST Zrt. The Castle was built by the plans of the architecture firm of Miklós Ybl in 1886, and its state has become dilapidated and critical in the past few decades. The building, which is under monument protection, is awaiting the end of the year as well as its comprehensive exterior and interior renovation with a renewed roofing and subsequent groundwater insulation carried out with 21st-century-solutions. The reconstruction includes the castle park, which also has a monument status. Here, experts have planted hundreds of plants in line with the original state of the park already. The building, which was on the verge of collapse two years ago, and the connecting park may reach their original state in the first half of next year.

The renovation of the Schossberger Castle of Tura is 65 percent complete. Carried out by BDPST Zrt., the first two components of the investment consisting of altogether three parts, that is, the complete reconstruction of the roofing, the groundwater insulation of the building and the complete exterior and interior design renovation, were finished some weeks ago. “As a result of the two phases that have been completed recently, the building is waiting for this year’s autumn and winter as a leak-safe place, therefore the art restorers and the interior architects can start to work on the restoration of the interior spaces”, said Judit Tóth, CEO of BDPST Zrt. on the castle renovation project that costs up to HUF 4.5 billion. She added: the historic building playing an important role in the life of the local community as well as the connecting castle park may regain their original state in the first half of next year completely.

The roof design of the castle built in classical style, being unique in Hungary, is also special: not only its deteriorated state, but also its structure and the design of its 20 chimneys have presented the experts with a number of challenges. Finally, the experts decided to restore the roofing completely: the structure was broken down to the ceiling, a reinforced sloped roof slab was installed (a new roof-top level was designed), following which a new roof was built over the building, and the chimneys that were close to collapse were also completely rebuilt brick by brick. “The whole work was carried out in line with the aspects of monument protection. Covered with natural slate, the special roofing of the building looks exactly the same like in the years following its handover. The covering elements of the new roof were brought from the same slate quarry that had been used to transport building materials from at the end of the 1800s”, highlighted Zoltán Somlyai, branch director of BDPST Zrt.

The static characteristics of the building had greatly been weakened by leaks caused by precipitation as well as groundwater infiltration. A major part of the reconstruction was the protection against water problems, which was made significantly harder by the unprofessional measures taken in the previous decades. “During the construction works in 1886, protection against groundwater was naturally not as high as it is these days, and the continuous breaking up and repouring of blind concrete in the past decades have also worsened the insulation of the building significantly. When we started the construction works, water had reached a metre and a half in the basement of the building, and it had leaked into the building through 6-8 layers of ruined blind concrete”, said Zoltán Somlyai. He added that the castle is located in the best place of the catchment around Tura, and it presented a number of challenges during the insulation works because of the high level of groundwater, as not only the building had to be protected against water problems, but the catchment also had to be saved.

Following the completion of the first two phases, the experts are already working on the restoration of the exterior of the building to its original state as well as the design of the interior spaces and the restoration of the decorative elements. During the project, experts from 12 special fields of restoration work on the conservation of gypsum stuccos, frescoes and wooden building elements. “Among the interior design works, the construction of the complete plumbing network of the building and the installation of the electrical wires have already been completed. At present, the final design of the interior spaces and the restoration works are being carried out, as a result of which the building will recover its former appearance at the beginning of next year”, outlined Zoltán Somlyai, and he also noted that the exterior of the castle would also follow the atmosphere of the late 1800s, as the building will have a decorative cladding, identical to the original, with decorative elements and stuccoes worked out to the last detail.

During the construction works, the co-workers of BDPST Zrt. did not only focus on the most complete historical restoration of the building and the castle park, but they also paid attention to giving the building complex modern functions. This is how an elevator fitting into the atmosphere and the image of the building was installed, and the most modern mechanical solutions were applied, as well.

The basic philosophy of the operation of BDPST Zrt. is to save old buildings, however, we do not want it to be like a face-lift functioning for a couple of years only, that is why we also give the buildings modern functions. The Schossberger Castle of Tura is getting recreational functions: it will operate as an event centre with 19 guest rooms, and weddings as well as cultural programmes can be organized here”, said CEO Judit Tóth, who also emphasized that creating the new function does not imply the expropriation of the castle. “According to our plans, the building as well as the unique castle park will be open to the visitors on predefined days (‘open house’) without disturbing the guests and the originally planned recreational functions, as it is a special Hungarian architectural and cultural monument, which should not be closed off from the interested people”, she highlighted.