“All cities have their cult locations, with their own stories and regular visitors, and these points significantly contribute to the unique beat of a city. Nagyerdei Water Tower offers a wonderful example to follow: it was not allowed to deteriorate, and was in fact filled with new life, and now it covers a broad spectrum both in terms of content and target audience. Way to go, Debrecen!” – this was part of the reasons quoted by Super Channel, the creative development team organising the Highlights of Hungary competition, in justification of nominating the emblematic monument of industrial history.
That nomination brought in two awards for the “old lady”, which was completely renewed in the summer of 2015: at the Thursday night gala event in Budapest, it received the fifth place on the basis of the votes received and also the Tourism Innovation Prize of the Hungarian Tourism Agency. At the awards ceremony, it was mentioned on behalf of the agency that they plan to showcase the new tourism attraction of Debrecen also at this year’s tourism World Travel Market to be held in London in November.
“This award is special because Highlights of Hungary is a very current and topical initiative, which is really about presenting the most innovative and forward-looking organisations, institutions, civil initiatives and tourist attractions to the public”, said András Süli, programme director of the university-owned company Debreceni Campus NK Kft., the entity operating the facility. It is difficult to create nationwide awareness these days, but thanks to the double recognition, even more people may become familiar with the Nagyerdei Water Tower.
In connection with the awards, Zoltán Bács, chancellor of the university, emphasised that the special prize of the Hungarian Tourism Agency is an important confirmation of the fact that the university undertook a professionally well-founded, bold and innovative project by investing in the renovation of this facility, which is equally important for the city and the university, and which is also fully in harmony with the university’s so-called third-mission efforts. In addition, the structure received a special new function as well, which made it a favourite venue of a large number of people, irrespective of age.
The renovation of the facility, which had been built for the purposes of supplying the university clinics with water, started in September 2014. It is now a venue for conferences, performances, temporary exhibitions and chamber concerts, and it also features a café on the park level and a deck level 34 metres above, from which the panorama of the forest park and the whole city opens up to the visitors. Enthusiasts of extreme sports can also test their skills on a 12-metre-high climbing wall. The former external stairs, designed by architect József Borsos, were replaced by two sets of water stairs, which carry the water to two fountains. There are also a total of 72 wall-washer lights with 1,500 high-performance LEDs, which can be used to “dress up” the water tower in any combination of spectacular colours during events. By May 2016, the park surrounding the building was also renewed, and the Water Tower Garden has become one of Debrecen’s most special outdoor community space with a unique atmosphere.
“In recent years, the complex had more than 50 thousand visitors, and among the 300 events held here it also served as a venue for such university events as the Employee Derby and Campus Festival, even becoming the symbol of the latter. In addition, it was also used for numerous professional meetings, private events, lectures, performances and exhibitions,” Péter Miklósvölgyi, managing director of Debreceni Campus NK Kft. said.
In connection with the recognition it is hoped that it will help convince even more people that the Nagyerdei Water Tower is really the place where the sky is the limit when it comes to experiences.
University of debrecen
H-4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1.
Phone: +36 (52) 258-058