Architectural Heritage of Hungarian Brick Factories

Protection and Re-use of Values with the Complex Investigation of the Built Heritage and the Industrial Landscape

Kronavetter Péter DLA
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The post-industrial sites of the Hungarian brick manufacturing and the industrial landscapes of abandoned clay-fields are both inseparably part of our architectural heritage. The network of the former brick factories stands as an important imprint of the brick manufacturing tradition in the country, while their products, as a secondary network relate them to the architectural culture. Still, no matter how obvious are the values of many of the former factories, due to their limited potential for reuse, these decaying structures can hardly count on any protection.

The dissertation focuses on the background and heritage of the Hungarian brick industry as well as on mapping and evaluating its present state. During the research I examined the conditions of the brick industrial heritage from three different views. First, as a theoretical approach, after reviewing the literature on industrial heritage protection, I set up new value categories and a value cadastre specifically to describe the values of brick factories. The second approach was the study of international practices and of good examples of brick factory rehabilitation, to reveal experiences and the possible re-use strategies. Finally, focusing on the situation in Hungary, by the practical adaptation of the previously defined value cadastre, I made an attempt to record this legacy and to select the most significant sites worthy of protection and rehabilitation.

During the study of each factory I tried to evaluate the different aspects of the historical and network background, the urban context, the landscape and of the built heritage with equal weight. The research itself is an attempt both to give an overall view on the heritage of brick manufacturing and both to gain a deeper, personal understanding of each site.