For those of you not yet initiated into the cult, Laszlo Hudec was one of the most talented architects of the 20th century – and 90% of his work was produced in Shanghai. A versatile virtuoso, Hudec designed in the Neo-classical, Georgian, Gothic, Byzantine, Art Deco and International styles. Just about everyone who has spent more than a week here knows the Park Hotel (so beautifully rendered in the “Year of Hudec” logo), but that is just one of more than 60 buildings that Hudec designed that still stand in the city.
To celebrate this amazing man’s contributions, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Hungary and the Hungarian Consulate General in Shanghai are organizing a year’s worth of events focused on Hudec’s life and work. The first event took place on January 22: a kick-off press conference followed by a brilliant lecture on “Art Deco Architecture in Shanghai” by the erudite Mr. Wu Jiang, a professor from the Tongji University School of Architecture who for the past five years has been the Deputy Director of the Shanghai Urban Planning Bureau (KIND OF an important organization with regard to historic preservation in Shanghai; we are very grateful that Wu is in that position, and pleasantly surprised that he has lasted this long in the dog-eat-dog world of municipal politics). We’ll recap Professor Wu’s lecture in a forthcoming post.
Check out the Hudec website at www.Hudec.sh - and see for yourself why Spencer Dodington was wrong in his article in Urbanatomy when he said, “Although Hudec designed many buildings in Shanghai, he did not leave a strong or lasting influence on the city’s landscape.”