Heritage of Timișoara

Cetate 8 Victoriei sq.

Széchenyi Apartment Building

Completion date:

1913

  • Architect: Arch. László Székely
  • Former Owner: Antal Vogel
  • Construction authorization: October 26, 1911
  • Property type: Private property
  • Protection type: Architectural Ensemble
    The interwar urban ensemble "Corso"
    TM-II-a-A-06115
  • Main arch. style Art Nouveau/Secession
  • Current condition Good
  • Planimetry Rectangular Complex
  • No. of levels 4
  • Current functions Other
    Bank/Financial Services/Insurance
    Apartment Tower




The building of the Széchenyi Construction Company closes to the south the monumental eastern front consisting of six edifices in Victoriei Square, all built between 1910 and 1913 in Secession style.In October 1911, the firm owned by Antal Vogel obtained a building permit for a building with 17 apartments and 57 rooms. In 1912, the Széchenyi joint-stock company obtained a permit for the installation of two freight elevators and a passenger elevator, and in the summer of 1914 the same company obtained a permit for alterations to the ground floor. During this period, Antal Vogel was the director of the Agricultural Credit Bank of Timișoara, a joint-stock company that owned both the steampowered Herkules Brick Factory and the Széchenyi Company.

Architecturally, the building has an elaborate volumetric composition and a complex plan, with three facades facing the street. Their layout opens the urban space of Victoriei Square to the south, defining the direction towards Iosefin district. The same solution will be used more than half a century later in the residential buildings opposite, which will complete the spatial layout of Victoria Square. From a morphological point of view, the intersections between the three facades are marked by two richly decorated towers, of which the southern one dominates the entire composition of the building. The three monumental bay windows, linked by rows of balconies, also display a hierarchical relationship. The most impressive bay window is situated above the main entrance to the building and is characterised by a superior size and richer plastic decoration. Here, within the pediment, we see a bas-relief of the female angel motif in a depiction typical of the Secession style. The female is shown holding a sheaf of wheat, a direct reference to the function of the Agrarian Bank. The symbolism is accentuated by the rest of the decoration, among which we encounter other sheaves of wheat and vines with grapes. Above the pediment there is a tower crowned by a finial in the shape of a beehive elaborately decorated with bees, a reference to the same banking function. The entrance gate to the building is guarded by two statues (male and female) carrying sheaves of wheat and fruit, symbols of a rich harvest. The statues act as capitals for the two pilasters on which they sit, symbolically supporting the whole building.

Although the building has several anthropomorphic and zoomorphic decorative motifs (including eagles on top of the beehives), the ornamentation is predominantly geometric, typical of Timișoara’s rchitecture at the time. The use of elements from the classical vocabulary, such as columns, pilasters and triangular gables, is a signature of the building’s author, architect László Székely, who also had his architecture office in this building. In fact, the tradition of having an architecture office in the Széchenyi Building continued in the interwar period with the office of architect Michael Wolf.

Authors of this file:

Research & text: Mihai-Claudiu Moldovan

Field research & mapping: Mihai-Claudiu Moldovan

Audited by: Mihai Opriș

Translation into English: Cristina Chira

Photographer: Ovidiu Micșa

Last modified: 9 months ago

Published on: 21 August 2023

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