The history of the small building goes back to the 1970’s, when architect Zoltán Ries (nowadays photographer) got a charge to design a tobacco-shop (trafik) of the village Dabas (today it is a town). Before this modern building another trafik had stood on the plot, which had seemed to be a public-WC according to the locals (it was a mud-hut).
Then the new edifice was built from concrete and modern pitted bricks. These materials had stemed from other building-operations of TSZ, so these were rest materials. Workers of the building had undertaken that they built the trafik out of work, so we would assume that the building was made of love of work.
Trafik is an original modern styled building from the 1970’s. Concrete brutalism is gave a very strong look for the small building. The form is clubed together from curved planes and shapes. The most interesting details of the building are the (water)runoff cylinder, the chimney and the big concrete console which hold the text TRAFIK.
Up the change of the system Trafik was at work, but the area and the world changed. In 1985-86 terraced houses were started to build behind the building, and the small edifice got into a urban situation. It was a good moment in the life of the building, because it would have become a real ‘urban object’. But when supermarkets appeared in the market, and the socialist economy failed, hungarian tobacco-culture broke off, and after the change of the system it could have not subsist for a long time.
Trafik was out of work for many years, and this was the ruin of it. Youngsters waiting for the bus used it for dust-bin, and the residents of the teracced houses evaded it, therefore they wanted to demolish Trafik in the recent past. Then a local architect István Ligetvári meet the mayor of the town, and he said him to rescue Trafik, and to find for it another function.
In 2006 there was an architectural exibition in Dabas, and one of the main topics was the rescue of Trafik. István Ligetvári explained his plans of the function for the guest of the exibition (including the mayor of Dabas). He said that Trafik would function as a contemporary art point, a ‘culture chapel’ in the future.
After some years planing was started by István Ligetvári and two young architect students Ádám Balog and Csaba Póra. The main deal of the resurrection was that they seted back the original state of the building. In the course of the years one of the main details of Trafik, the chimney had come down, so designers decided that they rebuilt the chimney by the original plans. Unfortunately the upper concrete slab was not excusable, because it was aslope (originaly), and they decided that it was covered by corten steel, and also the mount of the glassportal. So another raw material (corten steel next to concrete) was built on Trafik, and these new elements give a sharp contemporary contour for it.
Inside the building there is only a glass table, and it is possible to heat and cool the exibition space by an air conditioning, and to screen films about art by a monitor. In front of the building architects formed a little square from there guests can see the exibitions and the videos, too. Unforunatelly around the building there is chaotic surroundings, because the owners of the terraced houses have the chance to lay cobblestones in different shapes and colours, and to plant flowers and trees everywhere they want.
Nowadays residents are glad, because there is a nice and lovely public building in front of their homes, and there are more and more people from the town and the country, who would like to see the exibitions in the Trafik.
In 2010 the reconstruction of Trafik won the “Local Architectural Heritage Prize”, and got the 4th place in the voting of “Architectural Prize of the Media”.
The exibitons are held by the local TRAFIK-KÖR Contemporary Art Association, which is one of the best-known non-profit art organisation of the hungarian countryside. The association plans other rescue projects, too, which help Dabas to be an attractive art and leisure town for residents and tourists, too.