The Hungarian State Opera House, Budapest, Hungary

We are proud to present the biggest project of 2021-2022: the handmade luminaires by Patinas Lighting for The State Opera House. The renovation of the lamps for Hungarian State Opera House started as a conservation project in 2021. Patinas Lighting have taken part in the tender and finally received the task for full renovation and reproduction of the majority of decorative brass lamps.

Few words about the Hungarian State Opera House and the restoration project

The Hungarian State Opera House is an extarordinary institution of art and the building it is situated in is known as one of the finest monuments in Budapest. The Opera was built in a neorenaissance style based on plans made by Miklós Ybl (a 19th century master architect) with a magnificient richly decorated interior where the lamps and luminaires play a key role.

As time has taken a toll on this building the much needed restoration finally started in 2017 and eventually last year we have received the task for the renovation of the luminaires.

The restoration was overseen by Gábor Zoboky from Zoboky Építésziroda (Zoboky Architectural Studio). The restoration works and the quality control of the luminaires were supervized by Magyar Éva jeweller-artist, Nagy Melinda metal conservator, Rékasy Bálint Ferenczy prize owner jeweller-artist, and dr. Timár Lőrinc architect, archeologist.

As this was a heritage conservation project the craftmen from Patinas Lighting needed to make custommade pieces: they needed to restore the original luminaires, reproduce some spare parts, and also reproduce complete luminaires.

Patinas lamps for the Hungarian State Opera House

Alongside the renovated and partially reproduced lamps we have crafated seventy-three lamps in our manufacture based on old fotos and plans:
– thirty seven chandeliers (5 and 12 armed)
– twentytwo candelabra style table lamps that were installed in small nieches in the café
– two 13,5 meter long chandeliers in the main staircase,
– twelve 130 cm wide chandeliers for the auditorium.

The project – briefly

Our work in this restoration project started in 2021 immediately after we were assigned. Due to the significance of this project the works needed to be divided: from organization to installation it all took a year to complete.

Before we could start with the restoration and production itself, we needed to make sure that the restoration plans, production plans were all checked and confirmed by the team of conservators. This took a couple of weeks.

After all was settled we have started to work on the cast tools and forms (which were carved out of wood, 3D printed or made based on original parts) for the cast brass pieces. After the first samples were made and approved we could start with the die casting of the elements.

The cast parts were the rasped, chiselled and formed – and finally assembled. The arms of the chandeliers were bent, welded and drilled.

After all parts were assembled to check if everything was correctly made we have disassembled them fo thorough cleaning. After that was accomplished we have lacquered all parts with a special varnish. Finally the parts got an old gold finish so the luminaires would fit perfectly the interior of the Opera.

The lamps  were reproduced for the Hungarian State Opera House were made by 16 craftmen lead by János Gottschall with the administrative help of Anita Dávid.

Steps of the works for the Hungarian State Opera House:
– organization
– preparation
– production of prototypes
– prototype presentation to the client, feedback, approval
– production of all types (cast, rasping, chiselling, metal work, polishing, finishing, assembly, mechanical and electrical testing, packaging, delivery, installation)

Challenges during the project

The lamps made for the Hungarian State Opera House were exclusively made based on the plans put together by the leading team. The installation of one of the grand chandeliers proved to be a challenge: the 250 kg heavy 13,5 meter long chandelier needed to be suspended from a 16 meter high ceiling at four points. In order to have the best result we decided to make a model of cardboard and present it on site. This has made the decision easier and Gábor Zoboky the leading architect was able to approve the production.

The delivery and installation of ordered lamps

The production and delivery of the luminaires for the Hungarian State Opera House needed to be scheduled, first lamps were on their location within six months. As always the lamps were thoroughly packed and delivered, the bigger ones needed to be disassembled and assembled on site.

The Hungarian State Opera House project was a complicated task which needed full commitment from all craftmen who took part in this huge and wonderful project.
We are happy to have been involved in this restoration project as it is always uplifting to create everlasting pieces of art.

If you are interested in our products and would like to ask our colleagues for help in choosing / purchasing, please provide contact details below – and we will contact you as soon as possible!

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