The Bird House is the focal point of the group of pavilions designed for the Budapest Zoo. If the zoo is perceived as a representation of a village landscape from the Kalotaszeg/Tara Cälatei region, with all the traditions of folk and medieval architecture preserved in it, then the Bird House, situated near the Great Lake is nothing other than the counterpart of the village church, providing a spiritual focus for the village community. Apart from the steep tower of the Pheasant House, none of the other buildings show so strong a trace of folk church architecture. The tower of the Bird House, with its four small corner turrets is especially reminiscent of a typical Calvinist church building from the Kalotaszeg/Tara Cälatei region.

The bulky entrance with the narrow windows above the gate are a reference to the Romanesque style, which, in Kos' view, forms the basis of Hungarian architecture. The gigantic voliers are reminiscent of the apsis of Gothic churches. The immaterial nature of these open iron cages counterpoints the bulk of the central tower. The interior of the tower is similar to an earlier design by Zrumeczky for a smaller church. As finally constructed, the composition of structural iron and stocky towers is a more novel, more innovative and more refined solution than that drafted in the preliminary plans. The lighting of the entrance hall, which is the result of the double structure of the wooden tower, is a characteristic feature of the interior, which is a precursor of the ‘great dome hall’ of the Hungarian Pavilion of the World Expo in Turin in 1911 (by Tőry, Pogány and Györgyi).

Exquisite carved and painted rafter and beam ends are a feature of the external wooden structure. Later renovations and alterations resulted in the walling in of the original wooden framework of the building and the joining of the open-air and the interior stalls. The interior was made even more characteristic by the fine details designed by Kós: hand-made door handles and hinges, bird-shaped woodcarvings and mosaics and the stained glass windows high up in the tower. Another typical feature was the unique segmented beams in the inner hall, where the individual panels were connected with ornamental iron sheets painted black - these, however, were later destroyed.


Lendl Adolf: Milyen lesz az állatkertünk. In: Fővárosi Közlöny, 1909. május 18.

Györgyi Dénes: Az állatkertről. In: Magyar Építőművészet IV./10–12. 1912 (1–44.)

Gall, Anthony: Kós Károly műhelye – tanulmány és adattár. Mundus Magyar Egyetemi Kiadó, Budapest, 2002 (156–165.) [1909-1d]

Egy kis erdélyi levegő a fővárosban. In: Napkeletről jöttem, nagy palotás rakott városba kerültem. Fabó Beáta–Anthony Gall: Kós Károly világa 1907-1914. Budapest Főváros Levéltára, Budapest, 2014 (87–91.)

Date of planning
1908 - 1909
Date of construction
1909 - 1910 1910
Budapest XIV. Városliget, Állatkerti körút
Budapest Székesfőváros
Kós Károly
Zrumeczky Dezső
Peterek és Wagner; Müller Ernő; Tabermann Gusztáv utóda Fritsch Emil cég; Vasgerendákat árusító Rt.; Wellisch Arnold; Schwab Gyula; Kressalek Béla; Márkus Lajos; Forgó és Tsa Cég; Majoros Mayböhm Károly; Drobnitsch György, Galbavy Antal
Building type
cultural building
Building status
renovated with alterations