Shop and apartment block of Henrik and Dezső Lajta, 1911–1912
Budapest, V. Szervita tér 5.

The building in Petőfi Sándor Street, which was home to the Leitersdorfer family’s tailoring shop, was due for demolition in 1911, so the family decided to have a combined shop-cum-apartment block built. In April 1911 they paid 725000 crowns to purchase the two-floor building at 5, Szervita Square. The price as well as the more than 1.2 million crown construction costs was covered by mortgage. The first planning drawings bear the date 6 June 1911 and construction work was finished in late October 1912. In the meantime (in May, 1912), the commissioners submitted new plans for approval, which in fact showed the building, which was under construction and which failed to meet the pertaining regulations. (The ornaments on the street front in their final form feature in the catalogues of the Zsolnay ceramics manufacture of Pécs with the date March 1912.) The most critical point of change – besides the rows of oriel windows on the courtyard fronts – was the roof structure: whereas the first version shows a mansard roof with a studio window, here we see a recessed uppermost floor withdrawn behind the plane of the façade by two metres. The building regulations department tried to protest against extending the height of the building by adding a complete sixth floor, but to no avail. In the subsequent months the elevation and the third floor were further modified, but the final plans for these have not survived.

The interior arrangement of the bifunctional building didn’t undergo any major changes during the planning process. On a 818 squareyard lot, built in on all four sides the lower two or sometimes three business levels were taken up by undivided shop interiors accessible from the street or from the main staircase. All the three apartment levels were divided into two 180 sq metre flats with two rooms overlooking the street and three rooms overlooking the courtyard (the later were accessible from an internal corridor running along the firewall). On the first versions of the plans the structural solutions reflected the functional diversity of the building: the lower levels were meant to have a reinforced concrete skeleton construction and firewall while the upper floors would be brick structures, but the final building doesn’t reflect this clear structural and functional division.

The strictly axial composition of the street elevation made up by parts with widely diverse character is not really coherent on the first planning drawing: the stone clad front of the apartment levels – vertically divided by a decoratively stylized giant order of pilasters – hovers unhappily above the glazed bands of the business levels. In the final version, however, the hardly visible axiality and the unified horizontal divisions brought about a masterly elevation. The transparent, but dark-glazed swathes of the shop fronts and the walls of the apartment levels clad with light-coloured glazed bricks strike a delicate balance. The latter are divided into swathes by a series of multicoloured ornamental string courses, complemented by the more protruding main cornice that supports the balustrade of the terrace in front of the building’s uppermost storey.

Back to Lajta's works

Available material

Planning drawings

01_BTM Kiscelli Múzeum, Építészeti Gyűjtemény, ltsz.: 2009.4.102_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_103_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_204_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_305_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_406_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_506_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_607_BTM Kiscelli Múzeum, Építészeti Gyűjtemény, ltsz.: 2009.4.308_BTM Kiscelli Múzeum, ÉGy ltsz.: 2009.4.109_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_710_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_811_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_9

More images

12_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_1013_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_1114_BFL_XV_17_d_329_24374_1215_BFL_XV_17_e_306

Detail drawings

01_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_0102_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_0903_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.:61.434.5404_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.:61.24.1605_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_2306_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_?07_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_1808_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_1409_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_1710_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_2011_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_2112_Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Zsolnay-adattár, ltsz.: 61_24_13

Furnishings

01_Magyar Iparművészet, 1913/8. 318. p.02_Magyar Iparművészet, 1913/8. 315. p.03_Magyar Iparművészet, 1913/8..04_Magyar Iparművészet, 1913/8. 316. p.05_Magyar Iparművészet, 1913/8. 319. p.06_Magyar Iparművészet, 1913/8..

Period photos

01_BFL XV.17.e.30602_Művészet, 1913/5. 288. p.03_Reklám-Élet, 1929/6.04_Vámos Ferenc: Lajta Béla. Budapest, 1970.01507_ Ars Una, 1924/8–9. 311. p.08_Magyar Iparművészet, 1914/3. 143. p.

Written sources

01_BFL_IV_1407_b_695_1908_II02_BFL_IV_1407_b_695_1908_II03_BFL_IV_1407_b_695_1908_II04_BFL_IV_1407_b_2231_1911_III05_BFL_IV_1407_b_2231_1911_III06_BFL_IV_1407_b_4166_1912_III07_BFL_IV_1407_b_6508_1912_III08_BFL_IV_1407_b_6508_1912_III

Press material

A Lakás, 1912. 11-12. sz. 15. p.A Lakás, 1912. 11-12. sz. 15. p.

Afterlife of the building

Reklám-Élet, 1929/6.Reklám-Élet, 1929/6.Tér és Forma, 1930. 99. p.Tér és Forma, 1930. 101. p.01_FORTEPAN02_Magyar Építészeti Múzeum, ltsz. n.0300_Tér és Forma, 1933. 93. p.0301_Tér és Forma, 1933. 94. p.031_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III_00001032_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III033_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III034_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III

More images

035_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III036_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III037_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III038_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0390_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0391_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III040_BTM Kiscelli Múzeum Fényképtár, ltsz.:64.1230041_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III041_Népszerű Tudományos és Technikai Napló, 1933. X. 18. 4. p.042_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III043_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III044_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III045_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III046_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III047_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III048_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0490_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0491_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0492_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0493_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0494_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III0495_BFL_IV_1409_c_7687_1936_III05_Fővárosi Szabó Ervin Könyvtár, Budapest gyűjtemény, B kisny 3268/505_Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Plakát- és Kisnyomtatványtár, ltsz.: Kny. B 1.83207_BFL XV.17.e.30608_Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Plakát- és Kisnyomtatványtár, ltsz.: Kny. B 1.83209_BFL XV.17.e.30610a_BFL XV.17.e.30610b_BFL XV.17.e.30611_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000112_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000213_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0003a15_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_916_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000417_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_818_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_719a_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0003b19b_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000519c_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_519d_BFL_XV_17_e_306-1962_06_2820_BFL_XV_17_e_306_000221_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000622_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0006a23_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0006b24_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000725_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000826_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0008b27_BFL_XV_17_f_358_00128_BFL_XV_17_f_358_00229_BFL_XV_17_f_358_00742_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_000943_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001044_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001145_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001246_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001347_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001448_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0015490_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0016491_BFL_XV_17_e_306_2492_BFL_XV_17_e_306_150_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001751_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001852_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_001953_BFL_XV_17_e_306_0000554_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002155_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002256_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002357_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002458_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002559_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_260_BFL_17_e_306_szervita_361_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_462_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002663_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002764_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_565_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_667_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002868_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_002969_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003070_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003171_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003272_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003373_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003475_BFL_XV_17_f_358_00376_BFL_XV_17_f_358_00477_BFL_XV_17_f_358_00680_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003688_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003889_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_003990_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004091_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004192_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004293_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004494_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004595_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004896_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_004997_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_005098_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0051990a_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0046990b_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0047991_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0052992_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0053993_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0054994_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0055995_BFL_XV_17_f_3589960_BFL_XV_17_f_3589961_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0056997_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_00579990_BFL_XV_17_f_358_0089991_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_00439992_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_00589992_Magyar Építészeti Múzeum, ltsz. n.9993_BFL_XV_17_e_306_00089993_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_00599994_BFL_XV_17_e_306_00099994_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_00609995_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_00619996_BFL_XV_17_f_3589999_BFL_XV_17_e_306A000_BFL_XV_17_e_306A001_BFL_XV_17_e_306A002_BFL_XV_17_e_306A003_BFL_XV_17_e_306A004_BFL_XV_17_e_306A005_BFL_XV_17_e_306A006_BFL_XV_17_e_306A007_BFL_XV_17_e_306A008_BFL_XV_17_e_306A009_BFL_XV_17_e_306A010_BFL_XV_17_e_306A011_BFL_XV_17_e_306A012_BFL_XV_17_e_306A013_BFL_XV_17_e_306A014_BFL_XV_17_e_306A015_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0062A016_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0063A017_BFL_XV_17_e_306_V_Szervita_ter_5_0065A018_BFL_XV_17_e_306_szervita_1A019_BFL_XV_17_e_306A020_BFL_XV_17_e_306A021_BFL_XV_17_e_306A022_BFL_XV_17_e_306A023_BFL_XV_17_e_306A024_BFL_XV_17_f_358A025_BFL_XV_17_f_358A026_BFL_XV_17_f_358A027_BFL_XV_17_f_358A028_BFL_XV_17_f_358A029_BFL_XV_17_f_358 dA030_BFL_XV_17_f_358 eA031_BFL_XV_17_f_358 fA032_BFL_XV_17_f_358A033_BFL_XV_17_f_358A034_BFL_XV_17_f_358A035_BFL_XV_17_f_358A036_BFL_XV_17_f_358A037_BFL_XV_17_f_358

Documentation of the present state of the building

001001a002003004004b004d005006008008a009

More images

009d010011012012b013013a013c013r013t020021022023024024h025026026f027028029030031031q032033a034035a036a037
Click here to see the list of works!