In May last year, it was announced that the then 25-year-old talent training institution, Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), had purchased the Golden Bull Hotel (Aranybika), where it had set up its training center. The MCC plans to renovate and partially rebuild the hotel; the first stage of the architectural design competition was announced at the end of May 2022.
The plans are to first demolish the socialist wing and build a new building to house MCC students and professional activities. Once this is completed, the training courses will move in so that the old wing can be emptied and the reconstruction of the monument can begin. The old part of the building will once again be used as a hotel after the renovation.
Six candidates applied for the design competition, and the winning entry was submitted by Napur Architects, Gábor Erhardt, the vice-chairman of the jury and head of the MCC’s Architectural Workshop, announced.
He added that no second prize was awarded, indicating that MCC would like to work exclusively with the winning entry.
István Bognár, Head of the MCC Representation in Debrecen, said at the award ceremony that the competition opens a new chapter in the future of the building.
Péter Lánczi, Deputy Director General of MCC, said that the mission of Mathias Corvinus Collegium is to bring a quality form of talent education in which participants also serve their community. He added that 6,000 students in 24 locations in the Carpathian Basin take part in their talent management courses, with 300 in Debrecen. He stressed that they want to renovate and revitalize the buildings they have bought for their training sites.
István Gábor, the chief architect of Debrecen, said that the winner was chosen very quickly, but it was also important to determine how the other entries related to the winning entry, and at the end of this process, it was decided not to announce a runner-up.
The Mayor of Debrecen László Papp thanked all the applicants for the quality of their work to give Debrecen’s iconic building a new look. He said the Golden Bull Hotel had never been just a hotel but one of the city’s most important centers of cultural and social life. The mayor revealed that he had recommended it to Balázs Orbán, chairman of the MCC’s board of trustees, as the college’s headquarters in Debrecen. He felt that the Golden Bull Hotel could not fulfill the role that the people of Debrecen expected of it.
The mayor believes that some architects might think that some kind of modern wing should be built to replace the socialist wing, but in his opinion, the people of Debrecen will be happy to see a unified, elegant style in the whole building.
According to the MCC, the architectural project is being carried out with the involvement of the city administration and in accordance with the needs of the local population.
According to a representative opinion poll commissioned by MCC, the overwhelming majority of Debrecen residents would like to see a renovated building in the main square of Debrecen in a traditional architectural style that fits in with the historic townscape. The survey shows that the people of Debrecen consider the Golden Bull Hotel to be the most iconic, historic building that defines the cityscape after the Reformed Great Church. Most of the city’s residents agree that the Golden Bull Hotel should be completed and renovated in the style of the historic wing. Almost all respondents support the objectives of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium for renovation.