The story of the Hungarian State Opera: even a Neo-Renaissance building can be smart
When the renowned Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl designed the neo-renaissance building of the Hungarian State Opera in the second half of the 19th century, he probably suspected it would become the pride of the Pest district and one of the most visited cultural sites of the then Hungarian Empire. What he could not have guessed at the time was that it would be less than fifty years later full of smart technologies that would control lighting, appliances, or help save the famous booth. Just as the technology from the second part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy - the Holesov company iNELS - will take care of technological innovations during the major reconstruction of the building.
However, let's take a look at the story of Hungary's first opera scene, the construction of which was financed between 1875 and 1884 by the city of Budapest together with the then Emperor Franz Joseph 9. It was inaugurated to the public in August 1884 and visitors could admire, the tasteful combination of Neo-Renaissance and Baroque, it is already underlind by the works of Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Károly Lotz. In front of the building is a statue of Franz Liszt - probably the most famous Hungarian composer of all time. Inside, the three-storey building is decorated with four sculptures, each reminiscent of one of the opera voices. Soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
After almost one hundred and fifty years of its existence, the Hungarian Opera House has undergone a major reconstruction (a play of history at almost the same time as the Czech State Opera, which was reopened in January this year). It lasted 18 months and it was captivated by the famous news channel CNN.
Why? Because the $ 30 million project was not just about routine construction work, but also a major modernization of the entire space and a new smart technology engagement. The building has been equipped with a wide range of IT features - from brand new heating and ventilation, intelligent seats and sophisticated lighting control. This was taken care of by the Hungarian branch of the Czech company ELKO EP, which is one of the world's leading manufacturer of equipment for home, office and industrial automation.
The neo-renaissance building of Magyar Állami Operaház (as the original Hungarian name sounds) acquired the iNELS RF Control lighting control, which not only switches the lights on and off, but also dims or controls RGB. Everything can be controlled via RF Touch units. They also have an iNELS monitoring centre in the opera, which helps control the entire HVAC system - heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
To have the opportunity to be on such an important project as the reconstruction of the national opera building hasn’t come out of the blue, but it is an honour for our Hungarian branch, which has collected a lot of reference projects in previous years. Whether it's the Budapest's attractive Baltazar Boutique, the Pest-Buda Bistro & Hotel, the Jamie’s Italian restaurant, the luxury Moni's Jewellery or the Bodorka Aquarium on the shores of Lake Balaton, and of course, many family houses. Thanks to this, we were able to provide enough reference projects and become part of the newly written story of the legendary opera, ”says Oliver Kiss, director of the Hungarian subsidiary of ELKO EP and smart technologies iNELS, which also adds one story from the realization. “The opera director, Mr. Ókovács Szilvestzter, has long been suspicious of automation. But when he saw the magic of lighting control, we started to install iNELS in his head office. ”