The newest luxury hotel of the Hyatt chain – part of ‘The Unbound Collection by Hyatt’ – was comprehensively revamped over the course of four and half years. It opened its doors to the public in June 2019. Párisi Udvar on Ferenciek tere is one of Budapest’s best-known buildings, unique even by European standards. The renovation of historical significance was carried out according to strict monument protection rules, and with the involvement and collaboration of restorers and the best experts in the business.
Solinfo Group was also involved in the project. Are you interested in the details? We’ll fill you in.
Among other things, Solinfo Group was responsible for lighting in the Párisi Udvar reconstruction project. During the three-year project, we installed more than 3,000 lights in the building: there were times when 20 people worked simultaneously on implementation and at one point, we even had to employ the services of a slender circus acrobat as no one else could have managed to fit in certain sections of the crystal dome. So, why did we take on this massive task? It was a labour love. One thing’s for certain though, there are not many buildings like it in the city.
There were many looking to be awarded the job, but most – having realised the complexity of the works – dropped out of the race. Finally – possessing the appropriate know-how and experience – we remained the only ones standing. This was no simple task, as in addition to the numerous varied spaces and complex surfaces, the project was also extremely lengthy. Solinfo’s role was decided at the lighting test of the internal passage-way. The result was assessed by a 40-strong group, comprising people from all fields, from monument protection all the way through to the investors. Ultimately, we were given the nod.
The lighting technology concept of Párisi Udvar
Our plans were to have ambitious and elegant lighting in the building. This proved to be much more difficult in practice than on paper, as we had to satisfy countless varied needs and demands. The hotel’s owners wished to emphasise the splendour, the top floor’s residences were to represent luxury, while the task for the central dome was to make sure the glass shines as bright as if it were getting natural light. No standard solutions were used in the passage. The lamps had to be designed and produced one by one. The most difficult part of the job was adaptation. There were numerous changes, with several lighting plans drawn up, while we also had to comply industry and hotel standards.
The greatest challenge of the project
Technically, the domes of the passage-way represented the greatest challenge. We were tasked with creating lighting with a natural feel. We drew inspiration from the world of cinematography to put fill-lighting and indirect lights in place. The section above the crystal dome is like a hall of mirrors with the many artificial reflective surfaces created. The situation was made even more difficult given that no one heavier than 50 kg and taller than 160 cm could be sent up.
Harmonisation of old and modern
We did away with the notion (still believed by many today) that classical lighting must have traditional chandeliers and wall-lamps. Our concept has lights, rather than the luminaires dominate the monument spaces. We may have ended up with a modern atmosphere, but still emphasised that our goal was not to create contrast, but rather harmony between old and new. In a monument building of priority significance, organising fitting and assembly works is a difficult matter as there are no buffer-zones, it was never designed to have operating units and cables one day running through it. This meant that in addition to designing the lighting system, we also had to find place for and plan all cable routes and lines, how to affix, isolate and zone these, and how to make the lights (of which there were approximately 700) controllable.
To give an idea of the complexity of the work, in addition to lighting we also provided the furniture, terrace furniture and decoration for the residences of refined elegance on the top floor (with floor-spaces of 130 and 290 m²), as well as all auxiliary and decorative elements of the 110 rooms.
It was an immense learning experience, not only from a professional perspective. We learned how to cooperate on a project of this size. In the peak period, there were twenty of us working on implementation, a combined team of designers and constructors, but we also had a colleague in charge of solely communication and consultation/reconciliation.
The project will forever remain an exceptional memory for the Solinfo Group team.