The Flat Iron House (Apartment building)
The new mansion of the Szeged-Csongrád Savings Bank
The late Art Nouveau mansion, which in ordinary parlance is only referred to as the “Flat Iron House”, was named after its special shape. Almost ten years after working on the head office of the Szeged-Csongrád Savings Bank on the opposite plot, it was again Lipót Baumhorn who was asked to design the “new mansion of Csongrád”. This was the architect’s last work in Szeged. Although the site was 29 square feet smaller than required, the council did not object to having a smaller courtyard, therefore in 1912 it received a building permit. One year later, in 1913, the three-storey, spectacular building was completed. On the ground floor there are shops with an inner height of 5 meters, and on the mezzanine-floor office spaces as well as apartments with three to five rooms and bathrooms were developed. The facades facing the two streets (Takaréktár street – Horváth M. street) meet at sharp angles, however, the arch of the prominent corner tower softens the look and makes it rounder. The spectacular dome decorations of the Flat Iron House and the head office are remarkably similar to each other – if you look at them from the square, they almost look like ‘twin towers’. The entrance of the main staircase that is lined with columns can be found on the Takaréktár street side, but it also has a staircase facing the other street. The traditional structure of the facade is interwoven and made lively by Art Nouveau details: masks, plaited curls and checked motifs. The building is decorated with delicately crafted circular balustrades as well as artistic latticed grille gates made by locksmith György Kónya. In his oeuvre, Baumhorn uses copper reliefs only in this building, above the ground floor pillars. They depict a stylized lily of the valley motif known from Hungarian folk art, which is repeated in the ironwork as well. A copper lamp was placed next to the main entrance. Entering the staircase, we find stained glass windows. Unfortunately, the doors and windows, which play with geometric shapes and the contrast of yellow and black colour, are in incomplete condition today.