This February the Museum of Fine Arts and City Park Property Development Zrt. announced an open, international competition for the design of the five buildings to be built in City Park, the location of the biggest ongoing museum development project in Europe. Of the more than 470 designs submitted by the end of May 2014 deadline, 17 were selected for the second round and were evaluated by an 11-member jury of Hungarian and foreign museum and architectural professionals to find the winning designs and award-winners for the buildings-to-be of the Museum of Ethnography, the House of Hungarian Music, as well as the FotoMuzeum Budapest and the Hungarian House of Architecture. The winning and award-winner designs, as well as the projects that made it into the second round of the competition can be viewed online at www.ligetbudapest.org and are available at the following links.
Summary of the winners: ligetbudapest.org/competition/upload/documents/SummaryOfEntries.zip
Entries of the second round: ligetbudapest.org/competition/upload/documents/LigetBudapest_SecondStageEntries.zip
Author information: ligetbudapest.org/competition/upload/documents/AuthorInfo.zip
Among the 80 designs that were submitted for the building of the New National Gallery - Ludwig Museum, the jury did not find any that it deemed suitable to be implemented based on the evaluation criteria; therefore, a new competition was announced, which is expected to be closed next August.
The jury and the 36 experts who helped their work evaluated the projects based on 5 groups of criteria. Besides the architectural quality and solutions of the designs the judging committee also examined the technological and functional ideas (e.g. envisioned visitor experience and museum technological solutions), the sustainability of the designed building (energy efficiency, ecological considerations), its dialogue with the environment (including its embeddedness in the urban landscape, its connection with the City Park, and the accessibility of the building), as well as the expected costs of the implementation. Another highlighted consideration was for the designed buildings to be friendly to the green surface of the park to the greatest possible extent.
“Thanks to this design competition, the museums to be built in the City Park will create a harmonious dialogue with the park and its built environment, representing outstanding architectural value for Budapest and all of Hungary, while catering to the collections and the visitors with their 21st-century functional solutions at a world standard,” said László Baán, Ministerial commissioner for the Liget Budapest Project. The new museums will be housed in contemporary buildings meeting the requirements of sustainable architecture, while also fitting in with the natural and built heritage of the City Park. Through cooperation between themselves and with the museums built here a hundred years ago, the new buildings demonstrating individual and powerful architectural ideas will bring into being a unique institutional network of public collections that will not only enhance the international image of Budapest and Hungarian culture but will also provide exciting and open community spaces for the inhabitants of Budapest as well as for domestic and foreign visitors.
The applicants participating in the architectural design competition submitted their projects anonymously, under a registration number. Complying with the procedure laid down in the competition according to strict international regulations, the jury was only able to become familiar with the submitted designs, and the identity of the award-winning designers was only revealed after the final decision was made.
The five new buildings to be constructed within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project aimed at the complex development of the City Park will be located on the edges of the park, in areas currently covered with concrete, as well as on the site of existing buildings and structures in the City Park that are earmarked for demolition; thus, during the implementation of the project the green area of the park will be preserving and enlarged. The Museum of Ethnography, the Hungarian Museum of Architecture and the FotoMuzeum Budapest (currently the Hungarian Museum of Photography) will be situated on Ötvenhatosok tere (Fifty-sixers’ Square), the House of Hungarian Music will occupy the area of the former Hungexpo Offices, to be pulled down, while the New National Gallery – Ludwig Museum will be constructed in the place of the Petőfi Hall. Thanks to the project, simultaneously with the rehabilitation of the park’s flora, the green area of the City Park will be increased by tens of thousands of square meters, from today’s 60 percent to 65 percent.
According to plans, construction will begin in 2016, and the new museums will open to visitors in March 2018.
The total cost planned for the implementation of the new public buildings is 75 billion forints.
The last open, international design competition in Hungary took place in Budapest’s heyday, at the time of the millennium, more than 100 years ago.
The international jury had 11 members: chairman László Baán – ministerial commissioner for the Liget Budapest Project and director-general of the Museum of Fine Arts; co-chairpersons Wim Pijbes – architect and director-general of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – and Martha Thorne – architect and managing director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize; members Paula Cadima – architect and university lecturer (AA London School of Architecture), György Fekete – interior architect and president of the Hungarian Academy of Art, Sándor Finta – chief architect of Budapest, Edwin Heathcote – architect and architectural critic for the Financial Times, Henri Loyrette– state councillor and former director of the Musée du Louvre, Ervin Nagy – national chief architect, László György Sáros – architect and president of the Association of Hungarian Architects; substitute members Imre Bálint – president of the Budapest Chamber of Architects, Zoltán Cselovszki – architect, former president of the Forster Gyula National Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and acting director-general of the Museum of Fine Arts, György Fazakas – architect, and Tamás Perényi – architect, associate professor and head of the Faculty of Architecture at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. UIA (International Union of Architects) delegated a member, Juhani Katainen – architect and former dean of the Tampere University of Technology – and a substitute member, Roueïda Ayache – architect – to the jury.