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The new cultural base of the Balaton Uplands

The empire in Zánka, which spreads across the gateway to the Káli Basin, is a multifunctional cultural space where concerts, weddings, photoshoots, markets, second-hand sales, yoga classes and retreats run side by side. Let’s look around at the Kisbirtok Kultbázis!

After five years, the Kisbirtok Kultbázis, the brainchild of Andrea Szabó, has opened its doors. The former creative agency owner bought the stone barn of her dreams, which had been the centerpiece of an old farm estate after she burnt out at work. “All I ever wanted was to organize events in a barn. When I saw the ad, my heart skipped a beat and I was overcome with such enthusiasm that I hadn’t felt in my own agency, which I also built from scratch,” says Andrea. “Back then, as part of our agency work, we also had event management tasks. We worked a lot on Zwack’s premium brands—such as Moët, Dom Pérignon, Hennessy—where we had to conceive and organize exclusive events. I loved these tasks; coordination was my responsibility. Here, many of the ideas that I loved were realized, but there were plenty of things that I didn’t have the chance to do. And that’s when I started to think about how nice it would be to organize my own events, to implement my own ideas,” she said.

Later, she extended the purchased land with the neighboring plots to create the 3,500 square meters cultural space we see today, consisting of multiple venues and buildings. At its heart is the barn building, which can accommodate 150 people and is completed by other smaller and larger spaces, ruin buildings and a huge garden. It also has a unique atmosphere characterized by a blend of old values and new solutions. “As I always say, my favorite trends are eclecticism and »cross-culture«. During the renovation, we kept the typical red stone buildings of the region—we restored and modernized them—and enhanced them with shades reminiscent of Lake Balaton. These colors can also be seen in the windows and on the large art deco glass door at the barn entrance. The aim was to create a ‘schematic’ space where any decor, style, brand or idea could harmonize with the ambiance,” says Andrea.

Old and modern furniture is also present in the furnishings of the Kultbázis, as well as unique solutions such as hand basins made from oil barrels or doors made from old window-shutters. “Many of my friends and acquaintances bring here things they hold dear, things they can no longer find a place for but know they will find a home here. And I know they’re here with us, and it feels good. I hope that this love will be felt by those who come to visit the estate,” she added. “My plan is to host valuable, immersive events that make people want to stay. Whether it’s a wedding, a corporate or family event, a birthday party or a gastro market,” emphasized the owner. She went on and explained that she is finding space for more of her passions in Zánka, for example, she has opened an online second-hand shop, but she is also looking for creative partners to further develop her ideas, because, as she said, the place has infinite potential.

Photos: Kornél Simon

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