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Budapest by Labrosse | Margaret Island Water Tower

A snail twirling on one hundred and fifty-two steps hisses and obsesses, the experience embraces the entire stage. The audience of the fresh rock band thinned by the virus is replaced by the famished and raving crowd in the greenery of the island – hands in the air, eyes high as a kite, VIP party in the mouth. The cloudless memories evoke an almost pyramid-aged past. “Give it back” reads the tee of someone sad with trembling lips. The special characters of Dani Labrosse take over the buildings of Budapest here, on HYPEANDHYPER! Look at the picture, and try to find the small flower-headed cyclopes this time in the Margaret Island Water Tower!

“I chose another, less iconic building as the last part of the series originally, but then I thought the Margaret Island Water Tower and the stage belonging to it is more relevant in the current situation. I used to spend a lot of time in Margaret Island when I was a child, and the water tower has always been one of my favorite places, but I didn’t choose it out of mere nostalgia. The epidemic makes a lot of people think about what is important to them in their everyday life, and I – together with many others – miss live music more than anything. It was liberating to drift apart from the other drawings of the series a bit and bring to life an outdoor scene, similarly to my previous illustration featuring Gellért Hill” – Dani told us about his latest work.

Your task this time: find the small flower-headed cyclopes!

Margaret Island Water Tower

The city administration wanted to resolve the increasing water need and uninterrupted water supply of Margaret Island by establishing a water tower in the early 20th century. Dr. Szilárd Zielinski was commissioned to perform the significant engineering tasks, a university professor who first used reinforced concrete, a material unknown in Hungary until then. Dr. Zielinski finally implemented the 57 meter high building functioning as both a water tank and an observation point in 1911 with architect Rezső Vilmos Ray.

The Water Tower was declared a monument of cityscape significance in 1977, and it also became the symbol of Fővárosi Vízművek (Budapest Waterworks) (the structure can be found in the logo of the company – the Ed.). The building renovated in 2013 does not function as a water tower any longer; the water tank was partly demolished and a restaurant was established in its place. The inside of the tower gives home to visual art exhibitions and it continues to operate as a viewpoint to this day. If we go up on the Art Nouveau spiral staircase, we arrive at an observation hall with eight balconies, offering a 360 degree panorama over Budapest with the Danube and the hills of Buda.

The permanent outdoor theater next to the 109-year-old tower opened its doors on June 18, 1938, with the performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by the Hungarian National Theater. Unfortunately the stage was hit by a bomb during World War II, and was handed over again after a reconstruction in 1949. It continues to be a place offering high quality opera and musical performances, musical theater productions, dance performances and shows unto this day. The Margaret Island Water Tower has been operated by Szabad Tér Theater since 2011.

In our one-year-long article series titled Budapest by Labrosse, the special characters of Daniel Labrosse take over iconic buildings of Budapest here, on HYPEANDHYPER! Come, take a look and play with us!

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