Taking home third place in the Liget Budapest competition, the Laboratory for Explorative Architecture and Design (LEAD) has proposed a colorful design for Budapest’s new photography and architecture museums. A stunning shade of blue, the undulating buildings will mark the entrance to Budapest City Park, and provide a new cultural hotspot for Hungary’s capital city. Learn more about them, after the break.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the two museums is their large, curving roofs. Built out of glulaminated timber beams, shaped into catenary curves to reduce structural stress, the unique shape of these roofs are meant to connect them to the organic nature of the park, and to cater to the needs of the interior program. Their blue color comes from the ceramic tiles with which they are shingled. Tiling was one of the few materials capable of satisfactorily covering the curvature of the roofs, but is also a prevalent material in Hungary’s existing architecture. The teal color tone of the tiling blends the museums with the colors of the park tree canopy, while at the same time giving them a distinct identity from their surroundings.
Visitors to the museums enter via the plaza between the two buildings. Entrances are purposefully placed closer to the street to draw in pedestrians, and the ground floor is walled entirely in glass, displaying the inner workings of the building to the public. Inside, the entrance lobby showcases the massive structural timbers of the roof. A skylight-illuminated “canyon” bisects each building, bringing daylight to the inside of the museum, and forming the promenade that takes visitors up into the gallery spaces. This promenade is a single ramp that slowly transitions from the bright public space of the ground floor, to the darker, more indirectly lit exhibition halls of the floors above. The top of both museums hold libraries and archive spaces with generous views of the surrounding area. The photo museum library faces the park, while the architecture museum engages with the cityscape across the street.
LEAD was honored alongside first place winners Public Building Design Private Limited Company, and second place winners GSMM architetti Giorgio Santagostino-Monica. Firms UAOCo. Ltd and But Ferrariy Grass Compañía Limitada received honorable mention for this portion of the competition.
Project NameMuseum of Photography and Hungarian Architectural Museum
LocationBudapest, City Park, Hungary
Architect in ChargeLEAD