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THE CONTEMPORARY INTEREST in large-scale residential villas has found new favor among the economic elite of Hungary. Having chosen to express their social position in the material and aesthetic terms of their existence, do the architectural conventions of the elite now reflect indigenous or foreign tastes and traditions? This paper investigates how the construction of such sumptuous residences draws on a variety of sources for inspiration mirroring both the new potentials and the new disparities generated in post-socialist, central eastern Europe today. [Architecture, urban history, elite, postsocialist, Hungary]