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Margit Pazmandi

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Margit Pazmandi

Born in Budateteny (since 1950 Budapest, District 22) in 1930, Margit Pazmandi originally aimed to be a sculptor, but finally she graduated in 1952 at the Budapest University of Technology as an architect. From 1954 she worked at the state office responsible for public building design (Kozepulettervezo Intezet, KOZTI), mostly as a member of noted modernist Gyula Rimanoczy's studio. After Rimanoczy's death she left KOZTI for another state company, Altalanos Epulettervezo Intezet (AETI), where she worked until her retirement in 1985.

Pazmandi is a role model of the emancipated female architect of the socialist times. She received numerous public and private commissions, and was awarded the highest architecture achievement, the Miklos Ybl Prize twice - the only Hungarian female architect to be so. While being a widely respected and influential figure of her times, Pazmandi's eminent role was at least in part thanks to her marriage to a similarly vigorous and pioneering architect, Csaba Virag. Especially in the 1960s and 1970s, Pazmandi and Virag participated and won several competitions, e.g. the reconstruction of the Renaissance palace of King Matthias in Visegrad, or the new headquarters of the Hungarian National Television.

Her first major work, Hotel Annabella in Balatonfured, was built as part of a wider effort for the mass-tourism redevelopment of the lake Balaton. The modernist hotel building, finished in 1968, brought her first Ybl Award to Pazmandi (she was the fourth female awardee in the 15-year-old history of the prize, after Olga Minary in 1964, Dezsone Korbonits in 1965 and Sara Cs. Juhasz in 1966). She received a wide spectrum of commissions: she designed kindergartens, hospitals, leisure centers, schools and office buildings. She received her second Ybl Award in 1986 for her lifetime achievements.

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