Laszlo Szekely was a Romanian architect of Hungarian origin. In 1904, he became the first chief architect of Timișoara, a position newly established by the mayor of the city on the Bega River, Karoly Telbisz. The public buildings he designed display a strongly historicist character, while his private buildings mirror the Secessionist style, influenced by his master, Ödön Lechner. Most buildings belonging to the Secession style are located on "Corso", as the promenade on the right side of the former Regele Ferdinand Boulevard was called, between the Opera House and the Cathedral. The promenade on the left side of the same avenue was named „Surogat.”
All his buildings belong to the rental property category, common at the time, organized around an interior courtyard, with commercial spaces on the ground floor and apartments for rent upstairs. The inner courtyard is surrounded by exterior corridors on three sides and is dominated by the stairwell, centrally located on the short side of the courtyard.
Another phase of the Székely's creation was inspired by the Viennese School (Jugendstil) rather than by the "Lechner style". These are buildings that are suggestive of rigour, especially due to the symmetry specific to Austrian Secession.
At the same time, curvilinear shapes are partially discarded and there is a preference for geometrical decorations that give the building a sober air. Other elements that indicate this change are linear balconies, with openwork parapets. The stairwell is again located on the short side of the court and there is a winder staircase around the elevator shaft. The latter is protected by a wire mesh.
Though he had a short life (he lived only 57 years), the architect created his own style - "the Szekely style", rendering in an original manner the styles of the epoch: Eclecticism and 1900 Art (Hungarian and Viennese Secession- Jugendstil) . (Mariana Croitoru, 2015)
(Salonta, August 3, 1877 - TimiȘoara, January 23, 1934)
Academic/ specialized studies:
1900 - He graduated the Faculty of Architecture within the Polytechnic University in Budapest. Here, his mentor was the great architect Alajos Hauszmann (who designed the Royal Palace in Buda);
? - After graduation, he received a scholarship to study in Italy, where he refined his style;
? - He worked for Czigler Győzőunui's studio, master architect of Budapest. He is the one who recommended Szekely for the position of chief architect of Timișoara.
Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
1904 - chief architect of Timișoara for nearly two decades, since 1904. In this capacity, he built many public buildings. At the same time, he ran his own architecture office, designing synagogues and churches throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1. Public Buildings
1904-1905 - Communal Slaughterhouse (11 buildings), Timișoara; notes: the slaughterhouse was one of the most modern of its kind in the country. Today, all that’s left is the tower with a crenelated roof and entrance gate, flanked by two statuary groups representing a bull and a male character. After 1989, the slaughterhouse has restricted its operations and was completely closed down in 1992;
1906 - St. Mary Statue, Piața Maria, Timișoara;
1908 - Hosiery Factory (branch of "Gyulai ELSO SZOVOTT IPARARUGYAR KOTOTT ES RT" factory, Gyula, Hungary), Timișoara;
1908 - City Asylum Fund Palace, Piața Traian, Timişoara;
1908 - Forestry High School, Timişoara;
1909 - Decebal Bridge Timişoara;
1910 - Water Plant, Timișoara;
1912-1914 - Neptun Public Bath (former "Székely" or "Hungaria" House, built with the architect’s money), Timișoara;
1925-1926 - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Timișoara;
1930-1933 - Central Boarding House - currently, Timișoara Hotel, Piața Operei, Timișoara (with architect Mathias Hubert);
? - Hungarian General Credit Bank (Piața Libertății)), Timișoara;
? - City Hall, Salonta;
? - State Senior High School, Salonta.
2. Private Residences
1908 - Emmer House, Timișoara;
1910 - Brück House, Timişoara;
1911-1912 - "Erno Neuhausz" Palace Timişoara;
1911-1913 - "György Dauerbach"Palace, Timişoara;
1912-1913 - "Lajos Hilt" Palace, Timişoara;
1900-1914 - Széchenyi Palace (financed by Antal Vogel), Timișoara;
1921 - The gable of Weiss Palace, Timișoara (with Adalbert Szladek).
3. Religious Architecture
1905-1906 - Extending the Serbian Episcopal Palace, Piața Unirii, Timișoara;
1909 - Piarist High School (with Budapest architect Sándor Baumgarten) is an architectural ensemble that includes the high school, living quarters, a church-chapel and boarding school. Currently, it houses the Roman Catholic High School "Gerhardinum"
1912-1913 - The Romanian Orthodox Church from the Fabric district, Timișoara (center of craftsmen).
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ŞTEFĂNUȚ, Ada, Arta 1900 în România, Editura Noi Media Print, Bucureşti, 2008.