CEU’s campus redevelopment project, now underway on Nador utca in downtown Budapest, provides fertile ground for the study of historic buildings and the challenge of renovating them for modern use in an urban environment. Students in CEU’s Cultural Heritage Studies Program donned hard hats and reflective vests for a tour of the Nador utca 13 and 15 buildings to explore the history and plans.
“People don’t realize there’s history behind the building,” said student Michael Shamah. “You have to go through these layers of the past.”
The students, with guide Zofia Pazitna, CEU campus redevelopment officer, and members of the crew from general contractor Market-Strabag, explored the site together. For example, they examined how the layers of the walls reflect different stages in the building’s history, finding bricks and stone blocks from the 19th century, and later additions in concrete. The contractors and CEU work to display the historical parts of the building, incorporating them into the new architectural design, the students said.
“It’s a good example of both protection, and further use,” said Mariam Ajapahyan, who is also studying in the program to earn a Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Studies: Academic Research, Policy, Management. “They are taking care of the building. The plans were really visible. We can see the vision. They want to make everything good for the students, and not disturb the built heritage.”
CEU’s Cultural Heritage Studies Program was launched in fall 2014, focusing on developing aptitudes for the critical assessment of tangible structures and objects such as buildings, monuments, archaeological sites, and works of art; on intangible heritage like traditions, languages, and knowledge; and on environmental heritage connected to human-nature interactions.
“The program operates in a historical urban center, and it is a conscious intention on behalf of the faculty to follow the works and utilize it from the educational point of view,” said Professor Jozsef Laszlovszky, director of the Cultural Heritage Studies Program. “This is why the program was involved into the planning process from the very beginning.”
Permanent and visiting international faculty members include experts in a range of disciplines, such as archaeology, art history, anthropology, history, legal studies, and environmental studies. Click here to find out more.
The recent site visit was organized by program faculty and the Campus Redevelopment Office. Click here for photos, video, and news about CEU’s campus redevelopment project.