Built during the early 1900s, Gresham Palace (or Gresham-palota) is a fine example of Central European Art Nouveau architecture. The splendid palace features beautiful ironwork, including two magnificent peacock sculptures at the gate of the courtyard, typical of the Art Nouveau style. The palace is now owned by an Irish company, Quinlan Private, and managed by Four Seasons Hotels.
Gresham Palace is a good example of Art Nouveau architecture, especially in the manner of the Vienna Secessionism. Secessionists generally used relatively little ornament and emphasised architectural form, as can be seen in Gresham Palace’s smooth façade, curved roofline, bay windows and pilasters along the front of the building.
Gresham Palace exemplifies the style of Vienna Secessionists with its smooth façade that attracts attention mainly to the curved roofline, the bay windows and the pilasters along the front of the building.
The site was once occupied by Nako House, a neoclassical palace built in 1827. In 1880 the London-based Gresham Life Assurance Company bought the property. Originally, the palace served as an office building as well as a home for wealthy British aristocrats associated with the company.
After the purchase of Nako House, the company decided to build its foreign headquarters on the site, and agreed that they needed a grander setting. They commissioned local architect, Zsigmond Quittner, to design the new structure and in 1904 they began the construction of Gresham Palace, which was completed in 1906. After World War II, Soviet soldiers resided in the luxurious palace. Eventually, it became decrepit and was used as an apartment building during the People’s Republic of Hungary. When democracy was restored the national government presented the palace to the city of Budapest. In 2001 it was bought by the Four Seasons company and opened soon after as a luxurious hotel. Original details restored by Quinlan Private include a large staircase, stained glass, mosaics, ironwork and winter gardens.