The city of Budapest, though Budapest Development Agency (BFK), launched an international design competition this autumn for the comprehensive renewal of the Budapest Nyugati Railway Station and its surroundings. The initiative seeks to expand the train station's capacity in order to reach Budapest's railway transport goals of doubling the number of trains on the suburban and metropolitan network. After an initial phase that attracted 36 participants, 12 practices were shortlisted for the second round of the competition, among which are Benthem Crouwel Architects, Grimshaw Architects, Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners, Kengo Kuma & Associates and Sweco.
The competition seeks to preserve the heritage hall recently renovated and expand the train station's capacity in conjunction with the upgrade of the railway line, which will increase the frequency of the trains. The project will create a two-storey terminal station with 13 tracks above ground and six underground. As explained by Dávid Vitézy, CEO of Budapest Development Agency (BFK), "this will double the capacity of the station, while reducing its footprint, allowing for the creation of a new park and new urban development areas". By upgrading the public realm and creating the linear park along the railway, the project will revitalise derelict areas within the city centre. The design brief also enlists the creation of pedestrian and cycling links along the railway.
As Budapest's main terminal stations have reached maximum capacity, the city is investigating the possibility of turning head terminals into though systems. As a result, BFK is exploring the idea of creating a rail link under the Danube between Kelenföld and Nyugati stations, and the railway station transformation will be integrated into these future development plans. In November, BFK selected the 12 best applicants to participate in the second round of the competition, and the winning entry will be established in spring 2022. The shortlisted firms from Europe, Asia and Australia have significant experience in transport-related projects, having created the majority of the most notable railway stations in Europe over the past 20 years. The project's implementation is set to begin in 2025. The shortlisted practices are:
- Benthem Crouwel Architects
- Grimshaw Architects
- Zaha Hadid Architects + Finta és Társai Építészstúdió + Buro Happold + Abud Mérnökiroda + Land Italia
- Sweco Architects + Gateways
- AREP Group Architectes
- Ove Arup & Partners International
- Plant - Atelier Peterkis + Hawkins Brown Architects
- Albert Wimmer
- Kengo Kuma & Associates + M-Teampannon
- John McAslan + Partners
- Foster + Partners
- Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos + Szántó és Mikó