Dezső Jakab (1864-1932)

Dezső Jakab did his army service in Nagyvárad, and was later transferred to Szabadka (now Subotica, Serbia) where he met his future wife Irene (Irén), daughter of the Subotica merchant Vilmos Tauszig. Jakab's first independent design was that of a multi-storey apartment house in his wife’s hometown in 1894-95 (today Petra Drapšina street 2). He then became one of the most prolific pavilion designers of the grandiose Millennial Exhibition in Budapest, organized in 1896 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian conquest of the Pannonian Plain.

Jakab has had regular contact with Marcell Komor, and they initiated a joint practice in 1897, a collaboration that would last until 1920. From the beginning, they had many commissions, both in Budapest and outside the city. At the beginning they were designing apartment houses in Budapest. Later on they were designing many different buildings all over Hungary. They also collaborated with Ödön Lechner, and were his disciples and followers.

“Komor and Jakab started applying colored Zsolnay glazed tiles – characteristic to Lechner’s architectural vocabulary – in the second phase of their partnership (1902 – 1907). During these years they gave up flat facades, decorated with geometrical and brickwork features, for more plastic exteriors, drawing on the playful effects of light and shade, curved pediments, variously shaped windows, and diverse roof elements. This was a period of ardent search for new forms and expression, as was the case of the international Art Nouveau movement... The years between 1908 and 1912 can be considered as the purification period of their architectural style.”

Dezső Jakab died in Budapest on August 5, 1932.

Várallyay Réka, Komor Marcell Jakab Dezső, Budapest: Holnap Kiadó, 2006.

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