For the start of the new guiding season the annual guiding architects meeting took place on the last weekend in February. This year the 36 partners from all over the world met in Budapest.
2017 was a very successful year for our network with more than 3.000 tours and almost 36.000 participants. a-tour was the absolute front-runner and carried out over 450 tours in Hamburg. The opening of the Elbphilharmonie has certainly played a very important role.
As always, the focus of the event was on the further development of the network for architectural tours with numerous presentations and workshops. But of course the architectural tours were also part of the meeting this year. We experienced the city on the Donau river from the perspective of an architect and our partner Arne Hübner let us look behind the scenes.
guiding architects meeting Budapest
Thermal baths, train stations, art nouveau and a party scene with its ruined bars reminiscent of early 90s Berlin. The Paris of the East is cheaper than its French sister and therefore certainly a selected destination of “easyjetset”. The charm of the Hungarian city on the Donau river almost makes one forget Victor Orbans hostility towards democracy. Visit our partner GA Budapest.
This year, however, we chose the coldest weekend for our meeting.
The thermometer showed minus twelve degrees! The wind however, made it seem much colder.
Together with our partners from Istanbul, Sydney and New York we decided to cut the architectural tour short on Sunday and end the afternoon in one of the warm thermal baths, since we had heard: modern architecture and old spas somehow belong together in Budapest.
The trip took half an hour with several stops to get swim suits. Time enough for a chat with the taxi driver. He explained that our hotels are located in the busy flat part of the city, in Pest. Opposite, on the other side of the Danube lies the more tranquil hilly Buda. The two parts are connected by eight bridges, of which the chain bridge is the most important. Which is the most beautiful view of the city, is up to you.
We were curious, but also a bit nervous before our first visit of the thermal bath. How does it work? With the taxi we drove to Buda and the Rudas-Bath. But unfortunately the small traditional Turkish bath was completely overcrowded. Half an hour of waiting seemed too long,so we decided to visit the Gellért-Bath instead, which was only a few minutes away.
That was the right decision. We sat in the warm water, simular to a concert hall, the lighting, the hot steam and the magnificent facades formed the orchestra – great introduction for the Hungarian bathing culture. The Gellért-Bath was calm and elegant. Towels hung like colourful flags on the horizontal iron struts of the domed building and some tried their hand at a gymnastics exercise. Separate areas for men and women created a very special atmosphere. We almost missed the common outdoor pool with sauna on the first floor, but then we enjoyed a last bath with a view of the Danube.
All in all, it was once more an impressive guiding architects meeting in a beautiful city, which was very well organized by our network partner GA Bupapest. Despite the freezing cold, it was nice to get to know the city on the Danube and to discover one or two architectural highlights.
For our next meeting in spring 2019 Andalusia has been chosen. Everyone is already looking forward to Spain at hopefully milder temperatures.