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The Year of Hudec

January 23rd, 2008 · 3 Comments

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.

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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.”

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Frangipani // Jan 28, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Is there a list of all of Hudec’s buildings? Those surviving as well as a full list of everything he designed in Shanghai?

  • 2 Fessenden // Jan 29, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Yes, the Hudec website put together by the Hungarian government includes a list of 42 Hudec buildings in Shanghai, intact and demolished. This is less than the 60+ mentioned during the recent seminar on Hudec, but the website appears to be a work in progress - for instance, there are no photos included for many of the buildings, and descriptions are too brief or inaccurate (Hudec’s German Church, for instance, was torn down in the 1980s to make way for the Hilton Hotel).

  • 3 Judit Hajba from the Hungarian Consulate // Feb 26, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Yes, the website is still under work, soon there will be much more information including the updated list of Hudec’s buildings with English and Chinese names, including those that were torn down.

    The relatives of the Hudec family are willing to share more new information that has recently been discovered. For any information, please, feel free to contact me. Our goal is to put together a complete picture of Hudec and his great architectural work by the end of the year.

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