Last October the City Embassy of Budapest opened at KÉK, a contemporary architecture centre for established young architects, artists and civilians.KÉK is operated by independent architectural and cultural institutions, and helps allocate vacant space to new users.
KÉK aims to convey architectural culture to professionals and the wider public through exhibitions and other events. The believe architecture is not an isolated constructional task but a vital component of cultural, economic, social and political processes. Besides organizing exhibitions KÉK is involved in debating and developing urbanism issues.
One of their programs is Lakatlan, an initiative to reactivate the vacant spaces of Budapest. Working closely with NGOs, social enterprises and community initiatives, as well as with professional organizations, municipal officers and decision-makers. KÉK investigates the problem of urban vacancy. They discuss, map and activate vacant spaces, of which the details can be uploaded by anyone onto the website. The map helps in creating a comprehensive inventory, accessible to everyone and encouraging the public to save and reactivate these properties.
The program’s activities also include identifying local organizations in need of space, developing the samples for legal and commercial contracts, mentoring and incubating the organizations as well as helping them elaborate an organizational strategy. Negotiating with owners, and organizing professional and large public events and media campaigns, they create a multifaceted answer to vacancy in the city.