Endre Prakfalvi, Pál Ritoók – Socialist in Content, National in Form

World War II literally ruined Hungary. The extent of war damage, both in terms of the number of apartments and infrastructure itself, was enormous, not to mention the loss of human life. Towards the end of 1944 architects already started to discuss the tasks for the post-war time. Some did not limit their proposals to rebuilding the country but wanted to construct it almost from scratch, taking advantage of European cooperation in the professional field, which was devoid of political and ideological influence, in a new better developed social and economic order. Their aim was to reach a higher level of social understanding, which was expected to result in an institutionalised solution of the housing problems. They believed that to achieve it was necessary to introduce a fundamental reform in land and property law, which would subordinate private concerns to the public interest. On the other hand, they wanted to introduce modern architectural ideas which they understood as implementation of the Bauhaus designs for communal flats and of Le Corbusier’s principles and architectural experiences. In the field of urban planning, mainly in the capital, wide open spaces, boulevards and large squares and terraced houses were designed to replace old fashioned districts which had been ruined in the war.

Prakfalvi, Endre; Ritoók, Pál: Socialist in Content, National in Form, Autoportret 3[32]/2010

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