The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre - KÉK is an independent professional organisation founded in 2006 with the aim of opening new perspectives in architectural and urban thinking in Hungary. The objective of the institution is to initiate dialogue about architecture, the city and its culture both within the profession and beyond, and to operate an independent and open centre that promotes architectural education, awareness and innovation among multidisciplinary professionals and the general public. Through its fresh, provoking and focused programs, relevant also in international context, KÉK is currently the only internationally acknowledged professional platform representing contemporary architecture in Hungary, and has built an extensive international network of like-minded partner organisations.
Vision: Redifining the cultural and social role of architecture and raising the international profile of contemporary Hungarian architecture and architects.
Mission: Running an independent and open centre that promotes architectural education, awareness and innovation among multidisciplinary professionals and the general public.
Objectives: Initiating dialogue about architecture, the city and its culture both within the profession and beyond; promoting contemporary Hungarian architecture at international platforms; facilitating integration between architecture and other related disciplines; supporting relevant initiatives, providing up to date and relevant professional advice and supporting widespread architectural education.
KÉK was founded in 2006 by young architects who are still supporting the organisation as members of its Advisory Board.
Bárdossy Krisztina · Boda Judit · Bürger Nóra · Deigner Ágnes · Farkas Zsófi · Fazekas Ildikó · Göbl Gabi · Gyabronka Péter · Horváth Bálint · Huszthy Zita · Károlyi Zsuzsa · Keresztes István · Kiss Gergely · Libárdi Julianna · Major Virág · Naszádi Sára · Orosz Ágoston · Orosz Sára · Oravecz Júlia · Pongrácz Barbara · Schanz Judit · Sipos Andrea · Szabó Gyöngyvér · Szamos Bianka · Székács Péter · Szutor Bernadette · Szűcs Petra · Tóth Kati · Turai Balázs · Ungár Fanni · Vass Juli · Weber Zsófi and many more
KÉK has been engaged in examining the latest methods, formats and possibilities of urban regeneration for almost a decade. Our research programs, advisory services and development projects enable us to involve a growing network of stakeholders in rethinking our urban neighborhoods. Our activities, ranging from the systematic reuse of vacant or underused parcels and properties through suburban community development to commercial regeneration, provide new solutions for new urban problems.
One of the most important challenges of our age is to integrate technological innovation into the architectural and planning practice in a way that contributes to a sustainable and resilient society and environment instead of feeding self-serving developments. KÉK helps this process with professional events, exhibitions and research, always seeking to bring together designers and engineers with decision-makers and the broader public.
As declared in our founding manifesto, KÉK is strongly committed to bring more transparency into decision-making related to architecture and planning. Our public debates, publications, campaigns and competition formats are all conceived to help professionals and the broader public in taking positions, articulating opinions and participating at debates about the city.
One of KÉK’s most important missions is to make issues of contemporary architecture, planning and design accessible and comprehensible to the broader public, and to promote a community-based approach in urban policies. Through our festivals, cultural events, lecture series, tour guides and urban walks, we invite thousands of citizens to experience the city in new, more involved ways.
KÉK started its activity in 2006 with opening its cultural premises in Budapest, Nefelejcs street in a former warehouse in the backyard of a museum. The warehouse was in bad shape unused for decades and needed significant improvements to accommodate events and the public. The building was a catalyst in KÉK’s story: it did not only give form to the organization but also determined many of its activities, helping the construction of its identity. By opening a backyard to the local street network and turning it into a lively and accessible space, KÉK increased visibility for the area to a city-wide audience.
The first phase of KÉK’s operations in Nefelejcs street ended in 2008 when the centre moved to the very heart of the city into an office building managed by ORCO Property Group. The 7-storey, 6000m2 downtown building offered very different possibilities. By using the façade and roof for exhibitions and screenings, KÉK attempted to bring the building temporarily back into the public realm. This experiment for temporary use ended in the second hald of 2008.
Between 2008 and 2015 KÉK carried out its programmes at various sites without a permanent venue.
KÉK celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. Linked to this occasion, it has he moved to a permanent location, where it has opened its new multifunctional project space. To celebrate its 10th anniversary KÉK has released the first ever architecture beer, C10. In the same year, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office recognised the centre's activities and its social impact by the Millennium Prize "as the decisive representative of Hungarian contemporary architecture, urbanism and conscious civic society."