László Hudec

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Ladislav Hudec
Born (1893-01-08)January 8, 1893
Banská Bystrica, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died October 26, 1958(1958-10-26) (aged 65)
Berkeley, California, United States
Cause of death Myocardial infarction
Resting place Banská Bystrica
Nationality Hungarian
Other names Ladislav/Laszlo/Ladislaus/Ladislaw Hudec
Citizenship Hungarian (1893-1921)
Czechoslovak (1921-1941)
Hungarian (1941-)
Education Budapest University
Known for Park Hotel Shanghai (more...)
Spouse(s) Gizella Mayer

László Ede Hudec[3] or Ladislav Hudec (Hungarian: Hugyecz László Ede)[3] (Besztercebánya, Austria-Hungary January 8, 1893 – Berkeley, October 26, 1958) was a Hungarian[4][5] - Slovak[2][6] architect active in Shanghai from 1918 to 1945 and responsible for some of that city's most notable structures. Major works include the Park Hotel, the Grand Theater, the Joint Savings and Loan building, the combined Baptist Publications and Christian Literature Society buildings, and the post-modern "Green House". Hudec's style evolved during his active period, from the eclectic neo-classicism popular in the early 20th century to art deco and modern buildings toward the later part of his career. Although some of his buildings have been lost in the intervening decades, many survive.


Hudec was born in 1893 in Besztercebánya, Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary (now Banská Bystrica, Slovakia).[6] His father, György Hugyecz was a wealthy magyarized[note 1] Slovak[2][7][8] architect, born in the nearby village of Felsőmicsinye (now Horná Mičiná), while his mother, Paula Skultéty was an ethnic Hungarian[2] from Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia). He studied architecture at Budapest University from 1911 to 1914.[9] As a patriotic Austro-Hungarian citizen,[6] Hudec volunteered to join the Austro-Hungarian Army after outbreak of World War I, but was captured by the Russian Army in 1916 and was sent to a prison camp in Siberia.[6] While being transferred, he jumped from a train near the Chinese border and made his way to Shanghai, where he joined the American architectural office R.A. Curry.[9]

In 1925 he opened his own practice,[9] and was responsible for at least 37 buildings up to 1941.

After the Munich Agreement, (1938) Hudec lost his Czechoslovak citizenship and applied to become Hungarian citizen.[6] In 1941 he obtained a Hungarian passport and was appointed Honorary Consul of Hungary in Shanghai.[6]

Hudec's masterpiece is usually considered to be the 22-story Park Hotel Shanghai, on Nanjing Road across from People's Square. Built in 1934, it was the tallest building in the city until the 1980s, and is still a local landmark.

After leaving Shanghai in 1947 Hudec moved to Lugano and later to Rome. In 1950 he moved to Berkeley where he taught at the University of California. He died from heart-attack during an earth quake in 1958. In 1970 his remains were buried in an evangelic cemetery in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.[10]

Buildings in Shanghai[edit]


  1. ^ Poncellini, Luca (2011). "Laszlo Hudec in Shanghai (1919-1947) and the Pursuit of Chinese Modernity". Zurich: Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur. Retrieved May 18, 2011. Architect of Slovak origins, Ladislav Hudec (1893-1958) has been one of the most outstanding protagonists of the process of diffusion of modern architecture in the city of Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s. 
  2. ^ a b c d Csejdy, Júlia (2009). "Besztercebányától Sanghajig. Hugyecz László építész (1893-1958) életpályája" [From Banská Bystrica to Shanghai. The life of architect László Hugyecz (1893-1958) Ifjúság, egyetemi évek] (in Hungarian). Hudec Heritage Project. Retrieved May 17, 2011. Hogy vajon magyar vagy tót vagyok, én nem tudom, nem is keresem, magamat széjjel nem vághatom, mint szétvágták hazámat, mindig az maradok, ami voltam. Nem kérdezte senki tőlem a régi szentistváni Magyarországon, hogy vajon tót vagyok-e vagy magyar? Szerettem mindkettőt, hiszen anyám magyar, apám tót származású volt, és én is mind a kettő voltam." Translation (only the last two sentences): "whether I am Tót (Slovak) or Magyar (Hungarian), I liked both of them, my mother had Hungarian, my father had Slovak origin, and I was both. 
  3. ^ a b "Life and work; Roots". Ministry of Culture and Education of Hungary; College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University. www.hudec.cn. 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Wasserstrom, Jeffrey N. (2009). Global Shanghai, 1850-2010: a history in fragments. Routledge. p. 102. ISBN 9780415213288. 
  5. ^ Wang Zhiyong (April 23, 2009). "'Hudec and Shanghai', Deke Erh Photography Exhibition". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved September 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kabos, Ladislav. "The man who changed Shanghai". Who is L.E.Hudec. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ Peter G. Rowe, Seng Kuan, Architectural Encounters with Essence and Form in Modern China, MIT Press, 2004, p.58
  8. ^ Modern Chinese literature and culture, vol.18-19, Foreign Language Publications, 2006, p.45
  9. ^ a b c Warr, Anne: Shanghai Architecture, The Watermark Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-949284-76-1
  10. ^ "EXPO 2010 Slovakia Pavilion Official website". Retrieved August 6, 2010. 


  1. ^ Originally Juraj Hudec, he changed his Slovak name "Hudec" to the Hungarian form "Hugyecz" in 1890. (Kabos, Ladislav. "The man who changed Shanghai". Who is L.E.Hudec. Retrieved May 17, 2011. )

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