Attempts at Systematization in Hungarian Industrial Architecture in the Early Kádár Period
The systematisation of planning and implementation in industrial architecture, which encompassed a rapidly changing and broad range of building types, was a crucial issue in Hungary throughout the two decades after World War II. The architects of the state-owned Industrial Building Design Company (Ipari Épülettervező Vállalat, IPARTERV), which was established in 1948 and employed a staff of over one thousand, strove to apply unified planning methods or implementation techniques to the diverse area of industrial architecture, while always adapting them to the given state of the economy and the building industry. This uniformity inevitably resulted in constant professional conflicts arising from economic, functional and artistic issues, which later intensified especially in the first decade of János Kádár’s political regime, after the collapse in 1956 of Mátyás Rákosi’s Stalinist dictatorship. At the same time, the extraordinary structural innovativeness and architectural creativity bred by the period’s political and economic turnover in the area of industrial architecture played a fundamental role in the ‘selfrehabilitation’ of Hungarian modernism that took place after the years of Stalinism.
ON-SITE PRECASTING: FROM DOMINANCE TO INTEGRATION
It was in the first years of the Kádár regime that a new comprehensive industrialisation programme was launched in the spirit of social modernisation. Closely connected to the ambitions of the period between 1956 and 1963, generally referred to by Hungarian historians as the ‘early Kádár period’, the programme was aimed at political stabilization and the correction of the grave economic mistakes of the Rákosi dictatorship. Initially, the economic policies of the new regime were based on the principle of a more temperate industrialization (intensifying in nature, it gave preference to light industry and the processing industries, tailored to the country’s characteristics), but after 1958 – related to the internal party policies aiming towards radically improving the living standards of the population, as well as the production cooperation programmes within the COMECON countries – the emphasis was again shifted to supporting the extensive development of heavy industry, as well as the chemical and building industries…..
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