It is young people’s turn to reinvent rust zone sites

Date: 2024.04.14
CheckINN Revitalisator 2024, the joint idea competition of CheckINN Turisztikai Innovációmenedzsment Kft. and the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design has just kicked off, with a cash prize of HUF 3 million for the team with the best revitalisation idea. The competition is inviting entries by mostly architecture and tourism and hospitality students for reinventing rust zone sites, giving abandoned industrial buildings a new purpose while preserving their original values and making an appreciable touristic impact.

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and CheckINN Turisztikai Innovációmenedzsment Kft. are interested in the ideas of Hungarian university students, encouraging them to take a rust zone spot or building and reinvent it around their own lifestyles and creativity. The goal is to provide the building or the entire plot with a new look and function, while preserving its original values. Important considerations include helping the site to be developed integrate back into modern urban or country life and achieving long-term local and touristic significance aligned with the principle of sustainability. 

The Revitalisator competition provides an opportunity not only for developing creative concepts and creating touristic and architectural values, but also for understanding cross-sectoral, complex mindset and processes and expanding professional knowledge. Participants will also receive major assistance, with urban architect, head of research, designer, developer, surveyor, and chartered member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Gábor Soóki-Tóth, architect and founder of GUBAHÁMORI architecture design studio Péter Hámori, and CEO of Prophex Europe Consulting Ingatlan és Turizmus Tanácsadó Kft. Attila Hegedűs providing professional support this year. During the second round, the ten shortlisted teams will also participate in intensive presentation preparation in addition to two mentoring sessions. Later on, they can present their completed projects to a jury and an audience of nearly 100, with help from by senior lecturer and communication researcher dr. Zita Komár. 

Hungary has around 12 hectares of rust zone – sites that were previously in industrial or commercial use but now stand abandoned. CheckINN and MOME’s idea competition is designed to encourage the urban development approach of thinking of them as valuable areas with a huge potential. Despite being difficult to repurpose, they are essential for modern and sustainable city development in several ways. Many of them have contamination issues, so the first step in their revitalisation is cleaning, resulting in an immediate improvement in the quality of life of residents in the neighbourhood. They nearly always have an existing road network, utilities, and even buildings, which means their rejuvenation requires fewer resources. Most importantly, redeployment of these sites could offset the building in of unspoiled nature reserves. 

In previous years, a large number of remarkable concepts were developed. In 2022, team DiveIN won the Building Scale category with their diver base using the former Népgőzfürdő public steam bath and the Molnár cave, while the winner of the Site Scale category, team Cruisin' proposed to develop a cultural space in the former Népsziget shipyard debuting young artists.  

In 2023, team INDOOOHÁZ won the Building Scale category, whose concept involved converting the abandoned water reservoirs of former steam locomotives located along the train tracks into accommodation for backpackers for one or two nights. Team A QUARium won the Area and Site Scale category with a concept for converting the Népsziget Shipyard into an ecotourism centre presenting the fauna and shipping history of the Danube, complete with a system of aquariums, an exhibition that can toured by boat, a botanical garden, restaurant, steampunk café, and event venues. 

The CheckINN Revitaliser competition is inviting applications from teams of three studying in Hungarian higher education and eager for an adventure in the areas of tourism, architecture, and design. The top ten projects will be selected for the shortlist by a professional jury designated by CheckINN and MOME. 

Entries can be submitted through the website by 15 May 2024 and should include a 2-minute creative material of no fixed format introducing the team, the site or building to be revitalised, or the concept of reuse for touristic purposes. 

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