The “loft style” has conquered the world over the last fifty years. Its origin dates back to the 18th century Paris, but its popularity reached its peak only in the 1970s among the aspiring young artists in the US. Since then, due to the grand floor space and height, as well as the open-plan rooms and gigantic windows, loft style has become the symbol of wealth and luxury.
Nowadays, loft apartments are usually associated with a lifestyle – “loft-living.” These are typically top category luxury apartments, which are very popular with every age group.
This deservedly popular architectural style is characterized by spacious, sunny and dynamic rooms.
When designing these loft apartments, the development of spacious and extraordinarily light rooms is a priority. Thus common spaces like the living-room, the kitchen, the dining-room or the hall normally have an open-plan design.
Although the building itself is situated in the buzzing city centre of Budapest, the apartments are surprisingly quiet due to the triple-layer steel windows and high quality insulation.
The sight of the space opening up to us through the enormous windows creates a very special atmosphere. The scenery of the throbbing city and its beautiful historic buildings lend the apartments of the lower floors a unique ambience whereas the residents of the upper floors can enjoy a breath-taking panorama of Budapest.
The History of the Building
In the place of the present building of Loft Astoria, the first house was built in 1808 along with a carriage house, a stable and an inn by Benedek Unger to the proposition of Ferenc Nádasdy, a royal commissioner. Between 1824 and 1910, this building operated as Zrínyi Coffeehouse, and it soon became a popular scene among politicians, artists, and writers. Sándor Petőfi, one of the greatest Hungarian poets, was also a regular of the inn. In 1898, the Unger-House was acquired by Dr Jenő Kunz, who developed it into a three-storey building of eclectic style according to the plans of János Wagner. Neumann Department Store selling men’s wear operated on its ground and first floors. The neighbouring houses were acquired by Richárd Unger together with József and Gyula Neumann in 1912 to build a hotel in Budapest similar to the New York Hotel Regis.
The hotel, which was named Astoria after the New York Waldorf Astoria, was opened in 1914. Later on, the square was also named after this. Between 1937 and 1945, part of the building gave place to the offices of the legendary figures of Hungarian animation and graphics, Gyula Macskássy, János Halász, and Félix Kassowitz. Most of the building had to be demolished in 1949 because of the damage of World War Two, but in 1959 it was reopened as the seven-storey office block of the Budapest City Development Designing Company (BUVÁTI) keeping the original reinforced concrete structure designed by Endre Havas. This building with a new façade was designed by Dezső Cserba, and the Agricultural and Town Development Office along with two other designing companies, BUVÁTI and MÉLYÉPTERV, worked here.
Due to its character and design, the building is ideal for the construction of loft apartments. Thanks to its exceptional height, intriguing interiors can be designed when separating the different living spaces.
This building is particularly suitable for the creation of vast open-plan spaces because of its reinforced concrete framework. The characteristic reinforced concrete joists lend an industrial atmosphere to the place. The large area of ribbon windows provides light spaces for the apartments at the heart of the city centre.