Nóra Koczka, Vice President of Basic Collection and Gábor Radványi, Chief Architect of Futureal Group about Etele Plaza

We were really looking forward to showing you our article published in Octogon magazine! You can find the original article in Octogon magazine issue 170 (2021/6) or scroll down!

What makes this building special? Why is it different from other malls?

Gábor Radványi: This is the first smart mall in Hungary. A range of services can be accessed via a phone app, including ticket-free parking, driving to the nearest parking space to the planned shopping location, finding your way around the shopping centre, making reservations and pre-orders. On the other hand, unlike the usual shopping malls, which are closed from the outside and live inwards, the Futureal Group has designed a building that, on its west side it opens up towards the main access in its full cross-section of the atrium, so Etele Plaza is like a gift box that opens to reveal the building’s main design principles.


Buda’s largest shopping centre had to be made cosy: quite a challenge. Were there any fears in the team?

Nóra Koczka: No, fortunately. We were very happy to be part of such a complex project again, in partnership with the Futureal group. Our team has already gained a lot of experience and routine, as we have equipped several shopping malls, assisted in many domestic and international projects from concept to worldwide delivery. Our name is associated with furnishing the first premium shopping centre in Bulgaria, then Nový Smíchov in Prague and in Hungary Westend, Corvin, Arena Plaza and Köki Terminal.

Working with the designers from the Futureal team, we had to implement a well-prepared concept, with a few changes along the way, so we were confident to take on the new challenge.

What was the request for?

K.N.: The assignment was to deliver mobile furniture for the food court of the mall, its entire floor and the outdoor area. Based on the visual designs and moodboards provided by the Futureal Group’s interior designers, our expert colleagues customised the most suitable tables, chairs, benches, flower holders and waste bins from our range of products, which are suitable for use in busy locations.


In general, what are the specific, individual requirements when designing a mall?

R.G.: We need to create a building today that will serve the customers of tomorrow, with the flexibility to ensure the possibility of continuous renewal. The rapid change in consumer habits, which is in line with the speed of technological progress, must be anticipated for at least 4 to 5 years in order to create a product that is fresh and up-to-date at the moment of the handover and able to meet changing habits and needs in the long term.


How coherent was the design of the common areas, what was the interior design concept?

At the beginning of the design phase, we worked together with the experts we involved to draw up the basic concept and related technical specifications of the building. During the finalisation of the concept, we developed the basic structure of the building and the organisation of the interior spaces. One of the basic demands of the interior designer’s concept was to emphasise the contrast between the inside and outside world, with the atrium space cut off by the glass wall of the main entrance of the building as the collision zone. The exterior is a rigid world structured according to strict rules and adapted to the conditions of the location, while the interior is a friendly, relaxed, humane environment where people can feel themselves at home. This can be understood as a gift box analogy, where the hard box packaging protects the contents from external influences, while the soft packaging inside encloses the contents.

To what extent were the Basic Collection staff given a free hand in their work?

R.G.: The basic concept was developed in close collaboration with the developer, as a result of a continuous collaborative process. Working together did not impose limits, but opened up a broader perspective within which the work was born. We found them to be a customer-focused team with a proactive attitude, who immediately understood our ideas and developed a tailor-made offer for us. They delivered the job on time, with precision and reliability. They were a pleasure to work with!


They look back on a history of more than 20 years. They are unique distributors of many brands, but the market is full of many excellent companies. Why do you think you chose the Basic Collection?

K.N.: Basic Collection is professionally very strong in this field and I can say that we have the widest range of furniture brands. The fact that we had already successfully completed a number of similar projects at home and abroad played a major role for them to choose us for this project. Of course, it was also crucial that we could offer the best package price for the customer.

What was the biggest challenge of all? The top of all?

K.N.: Delivery, execution and coordination of the team was a big task! Preparing the right plan and constantly adapting it to the circumstances, as there were so many other subcontractors still working on site on the week before the opening to whom we had to constantly adapt. But we’re proud to say that we delivered on time, on budget and that we were able to deliver flawlessly on a project of this scale.

What’s next? Where do they need to demonstrate their expertise and use their experience?

K.N.: We are currently working on several large and exciting hotel projects, where we can experience the beauty of the profession and help our customers. The successful completion of a cooperation can be preceded by months, sometimes years of preparation, and during this time we put our best into the work, take full responsibility for the task and more than once we can say that we fall a little in love with it.


To check all the images on this project, click!


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