Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Liget Budapest Museum in Hungary by JMA
August 16th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: JMA
In response to the Hungarian government’s noble mission to erect new buildings for six important cultural institutions that are to be located within the City Park in Budapest, this design concept focuses on the museums of architecture and photography. The concept encompasses all aspects of the design program so as to present the jury, and the Hungarian people, with architectural works of art in both structure and landscape, that distinguish both the Hungarian culture and the whole of Europe in a world-renown manner. The concept intends to present works of art housing works of art harmoniously, providing an intriguing dynamic that will draw all visitors to its environs in a manner that simultaneously embraces interaction, enriches cultural pride, and satisfies a desire for an experiential aesthetic that will be immeasurably fulfilling and long-lasting.
The design represents an intent to fulfill architectures mission to provide beautiful buildings and spaces that are suitable for human habitation, interaction and enjoyment, both from within and outside the confines of the structures. To meet that objective, a focus is placed on the entrance to the park, and the comprehensive reconstruction of the green area as starting points in the development of the design concept.
The Entrance To The Park
The intent is to create a beacon that will draw the people of Hungary and its visitors to the park, and upon arrival, to provide them with a clearly articulated means to enter the grounds. This objective is satisfied by virtue of the design of the light towers and the ramps that are directed toward the center. Each museum includes a lit white tower in their structural composition. The composition and scale of the towers provides a means to draw one to the park given the visual stimulation that their presence provides from afar; the power of the architecture is thus realized from all vantage points. Also, a conscious effort was undertaken to pay homage to the gate that was formerly located in the park.
Comprehensive Reconstruction Of The Green Area
The primary intent in meeting the objective to reconstruct the green area is to ensure the enjoyable interaction of the parks visitors with its grounds, thus encouraging the daily use of the park for recreation and/or relaxation. A concerted effort is employed to ensure that a solitary focus is not placed on the structures, thus rendering the grounds subordinate to them. Instead, the desire is to ensure that the concept of park (grounds) and museum (structure) is addressed as seamlessly as possible, providing for a simultaneously fulfilling experience for the visitors. The living roof ramps are planted with native foliage, and encompass the public recreational area. This allows the structures to become part of the community grounds. The main interior functions of the structures are located underground, allowing the park grounds to extend above them, interactively.
The focus on the reconstruction of the green area supports the preservation of the park as one of the dominant green areas of Budapest, and seeks to encourage the residents of the city, and its visitors, to enthusiastically embrace its presence. By being attentive to the green area in the design concept, the scheme accentuates the environmental advantages that the presence of the park provides to the city of Budapest.
The Architecture (Structures)
The concept for the design of the structures focuses on the melding of form and function in a manner that is visually pleasing, structurally dynamic, and functionally effective. The building aesthetics depict a cohesion between the unique composition of geometry and a dynamic structural representation of light versus heavy elements. This is most identifiable by virtue of the deep cantilevers that have been employed, and that exist in concert with the non-rectilinear vertical geometry, thus creating an aesthetically interesting composition without over-indulging in structural gymnastics. For again, the intent is to provide for the simultaneous experience of visual stimulation and physical interaction without either overly dominating the other, while still creating a work of architecture that is a work of art. Whereas the primary objective of the interior of the museums is to create ideal display conditions, the exterior is intended to blend with the park.
The primary materials employed in the construction of the structures are concrete, wood, and glass. Concrete is intended for the underground sections of the structure, and to support the deep cantilevers. Wood, a renewable material used traditionally for structures built in Hungary, is used along with glass in the remaining physical composition of the structures. Glass articulates lightness and transparency in the fulfillment of the desire to provide for interaction, and to maximize the presence of natural light. The ramped landscape reveals the building underground, and allows natural light to penetrate the underground spaces.
The Interior Spaces
The exhibition spaces in both museums are conceived as large flexible spaces for displaying their artifacts. All opportunities are maximized to ensure the provision of natural light, including the employment of a continuous translucent fabric ceiling that uniformly distributes it. All of the galleries are to be finished with white walls, covered with non-VOC paint, to provide an unobstructed backdrop for the artwork. All material selections and space layouts are intended to support the presence of an open and compelling space for both circulation and display.
A priority is placed on an effective circulation pattern, wherein the dual objectives of guidance through the exhibition spaces, and the freedom to roam, are simultaneously met. At the core of the interior circulation patterns are the central atriums, which are lit directly from the skylights above. The atrium also contains an open reservoir water collection system as a means of meeting sustainability objectives.
The Photography Museum
The main entrance to the Photography Museum is a glass prism, and from there, the visitor must descend to start their experience through the space. This white light, glass prism tower, together with the light tower of the Architecture Museum, mark the gate of the complex. The light tower will also be used as a screen for projecting images, and this will support the intended visual stimulation from both within the grounds, and from afar. It is envisioned that this aspect will play a major role in drawing visitors to the park.
The above ground sections of the Photography Museum are in the form of two dynamic geometric boxes, housing the administrative space and the shops. In these locations the staff and everyday visitors are accorded the best views, with their physical presence being at the same level as that of the crown of the on-site trees. The shops, a double-level open space, provide the opportunity for visitors to grab a book and a cup of coffee. The Event Space is located on the ground level, so as to provide direct access to the outside. The Library is located underground, with access to the outside via a ramp.
The Architecture Museum
There are two very different volumes in this structure: the underground ramped space, and the deep cantilever. Contemporary architecture embraces the melding of technology with nature, and the deep glass enclosed cantilever of this museum, wrapped in reclaimed wood, expresses these two concepts. A library, event space, and administrative spaces share this volume, and the best views of the park. It is expected that the physical and experiential composition of this structure will be a major draw for the park.
A concerted effort is undertaken to maximize as many components of sustainability as can be effectively accommodated. Recycled denim is intended for insulation, maximum sized solar panels are to be located on each roof, the structures are to be warmed via radiant heat, and rechargeable vehicle stations and bike racks are to be located on-site to support eco-friendly forms of transportation.
The design of the architecture and photography museums are conceived in support of the Hungarian government’s commitment to establishing the City Park in Budapest as a leading embodiment of its cultural institutions, and as a preferred destination for recreation and relaxation for its residents and visitors from around the world. The designs intend to meet, if not exceed, the expectations of the 21st century with respect to museum design and sustainability. The concepts seek to garner an international renown for the impact of its architecture on the city of Budapest and the Hungarian culture, instilling an immense sense of pride and world-wide fame.