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New European Bauhaus
News article10 April 2021

The revitalization process of an aging small town

We are interested in the sustainable regeneration of rural and urban areas.


Our towns & villages age too.

Gereben Marián Architects shared through our website the example of Gyermely, a small Hungarian town.

The architects explained that far from the bustling metropolitan areas, the agriculture-based rural lifestyle is slowly disappearing. Yet, over the last decades, the community of Gyermely has successfully implemented projects to reverse this process.

Located at the edge of town, the factory of the nationwide popular pasta brand operated by the local community, provides residents with a living & future. It has generated intensive development within the community & the town centre. Due to the growing number of young, working families relocating there, the town has witnessed an increase in population, which has resulted in the transformation of the town's institutional network.

The town centre has been the subject of intensive development over the past decade: 5 construction phases have resulted in a so-called Civil House, a public service building comprising medical facilities, a bank & apartments, a remodelled & renovated Town Hall, a service building housing garages & storage spaces, skilfully restructuring the surroundings of the creek that runs through the village. In 2 subsequent phases, the Gyermely Pasta Factory, has constructed apartment buildings for its employees in the Church & Parish's vicinity.

Transformation takes time.

Change requires continuous consultations with the local community & integrating effects stemming from previous interventions. Gyermely is a town with medieval roots, yet interventions following WW2 resulted in a dismantled & fragmented town centre wedged into the urban fabric like a foreign body.

Realised following present-day demands, the past decade's transformation & extension processes serve as a balm for the town centre's wounds & deficiencies. The small-scale buildings were constructed in different phases & can only be interpreted within the context of their history, environment & organic relationship to one another, creating a complex spatial structure that responds to the changing demands of the community.

The construction process consisted of radical remodelling and expansion of the existing deteriorated 1970s-era buildings and small-scale interventions within the urban fabric. The positioning of the new and remodelled buildings and the choice of simple and frugal materials highlight the characteristics of the town centre that have evolved over centuries. The exposed concrete and brick surfaces, metal cladding, and wooden openwork structures provide intellectual and physical durability and sustainability. An organic continuation to the volumes of the adjacent buildings, the covered, open spaces are distinctive elements rooted in the local way of life, engaging in intensive visual and functional dialogue with the town centre, thus facilitating the local community's everyday activities and communication.

Any similar examples from where you live?

? Gyermely / © Balázs Danyi


Publication date
10 April 2021