Impromptu pool party at a cool rooftop terrace, a guy takes a selfie with a botched Rapunzel. A pink elephant with a lazy eye and ear from approaches from Mérleg utca, in the eyes and out through the mouth, socks and panties are drying. A Crybaby comes from the right, daddy-long-legs, roly-poly, goofus – crocodile dance drum-rolls on the tongue of the frog. Absolute madness in all one hundred seventy-nine rooms, and three black wolves guard the unprecedented order. The special characters of Daniel Labrosse take over the buildings of Budapest for an entire year here, on HYPEANDHYPER! Look at the picture, and try to find the little yellow rubber duck now in Gresham Palace!
“Sometime the summer of 2002, one year after Gresham Palace became Four Seasons Hotel, my mum and I walked into the building, where a nice concierge showed us the stained glass windows in the stairway, but I only have vague memories of this. A clearer recollection of the building comes from ten years after the first one, when Ervin Hervé Lóránth’s statue “Popped up” was installed on the green area in front of Gresham. It was when I tried to take a photo of the statue from the front when I really noticed the building behind it.
Now, instead of hotel guests, my characters are feasting their eyes on the spectacular view from the thousand windows of Gresham, and they are behaving just the way it should be expected in a luxury hotel” – explains Dani about his latest work.
Your task this time: zoom in on the screen and look for the little yellow rubber duck!
The Art Nouveau palace was built based on the designs of Zsigmond Quittner and the Vágó brothers, and was handed over in 1906 as the Budapest headquarters of the London-based The Gresham insurance company. However, the employees of the insurance company did not work with shares and investments within the walls of the buildings; they lived here. This way, Gresham became one of the capital’s residential buildings with the largest total floor space in the beginning of the past century.
The three stairways of the building with a total floor space of 12,000 square meters opened from the cozy and glass-covered shopping arcade. Ground level gave home to the legendary Café Gresham, which was the go-to place of outstanding artist of the ‘20s. Famous artists including Aurél Bernáth, József Egry, Ödön Márffy and Béni Ferenczi belonged to the Gresham circle.
After the severe recession, the insurance company left Hungary, however, this was not what caused the downfall of the building. Its permanent deterioration started in world war II and the period following it. Then, in 1948, Gresham was nationalized, and the suites were transformed into smaller flats. In the subsequent 40 years, the complex on the bank of the Danube was completely ruined.
Finally, the fate of Gresham was sealed after the regime change: the 179-room luxury hotel, Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel – also shining in its full glory today – was opened in the building following a complete renovation.
Since 1987, Gresham Palace enriches our World Heritage together with other buildings on the bank of the Danube.
In our latest Budapest by Labrosse series, the special characters of Daniel Labrosse take over the buildings of Budapest for an entire year here, on HYPEANDHYPER! Come, take a look at the pictures and play with us!