Barbara Szij: Budapest100

KÉK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, Hungary

Barbara Szij has been the research coordinator of Budapest100 since 2016 and she became one of the project leaders in 2023 after becoming a full-time employee of the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (KÉK). Her primary interest includes uncovering the social connections that form the built heritage of a city and how we can find new ways of connecting to urban spaces and rural landscapes by getting to know their history.

Budapest100 is an urban community festival founded in 2011 by the Open Society Archives and managed by KÉK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre. It is a celebration of communities and the city, a weekend of open houses that brings city dwellers and neighbors closer together and draws attention to the built values around us. The project utilizes tangible and intangible heritage to fight social isolation and strengthen local communities, keep the stories of residents alive and raise awareness about the value of heritage, thus creating ownership and a sense of belonging. During the weekend, visitors explore their own city through a new perspective, while residents explore their connections to their houses and to each other. Over 13 years, more than 600 buildings joined the event, while 2,000 volunteers and about 160,000 visitors participated in the programs. The project has received a number of notable awards and recognitions, most recently the European Heritage Award – Europa Nostra Award in the category Citizens Engagement & Awareness-raising.