New MOL head office completed – BBJ

The headquarters of the MOL campus in Budapest under construction

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has completed its 120-meter-high, 28-story MOL campus in southern Buda overlooking the Danube. The complex, which can be seen from many parts of the city, is now the tallest building in Budapest at 165 meters at the highest point.

The building thus exceeds the 93-meter tower of the Semmelweis Medical University in District VIII. Building regulations for the city center state that structures cannot exceed 96 meters, the height of St. István’s Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament, completed in 1904 and 1905 respectively.

The 86,000 m² neo-modern building, the size of 12 football pitches, was designed by renowned Foster + Partners and Hungarian Finta Studio. The project consists mainly of a tower and a podium and will house around 2,500 people working in the complex.

London-based Foster + Partners was chosen after a public tender. It required an architect experienced in designing high rise projects, so a London-based studio was the obvious choice.

The project obtained BREEAM “Excellent” and LEED “Platinum” certificates, the highest possible sustainability accreditations. The designers emphasized open space and natural light; the complex, located on a 54 hectare site, offers 20 hectares of green spaces.

“We need offices to support the developing industry by bringing together the staff currently based in several different office buildings across the city,” commented Péter Ratatics, COO of MOL Hungary, at the ceremony. fencing.

“The design was too complex for us to undertake custom development in partnership with a developer. We therefore made the decision to develop the project ourselves in partnership with Market Építő ”, he explained.

High rise skyline

Due to urban planning regulations in the historic center of Budapest, where the aim is to protect the skyline and the classic city look and feel, developers are unable to construct high-rise buildings. great height. This is not the case, for example, in Bratislava, Belgrade and Warsaw, where the central skyline is increasingly dominated by office buildings and residential projects.

“The MOL group needed and deserved such a high quality head office. Therefore, I understand and see the importance of such a project. I am not against high rise buildings, and I can see why MOL and the architects have chosen such a shape for their new historic project, ”said Zsombor Barta, chairman of the Hungarian Green Building Council (HuGBC), on the project.

“However, its location and its integration into the existing urban structure are more questionable for me. Budapest does not traditionally have high-rise buildings or neighborhoods. It is very different from Warsaw, for example. Therefore, for me, the location of the tower is questionable, as it does not necessarily fit into existing urban structures and forms, which can be a bit disturbing for many people. The concept of a skyscraper is for sure something new in the architectural environment of Budapest, ”he notes.

“The example of the MOL project shows that, theoretically, more skyscrapers could be built. However, since skyscrapers are not typical of Budapest […], I don’t think we’ll see more and more high rise projects popping up. From what I understand, the regulator said the MOL project was one-time; no further [projects] should follow, ”he adds.

General contractor Market Építő is due to complete Campus MOL by fall 2022.

This article first appeared in the print issue of the Budapest Business Journal on September 10, 2021.

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