Integration into the cityscape

Located in the heart of Budapest, the City Park is an ideal urban oasis to heal citizen’s everyday life. The unique position of the House of Hungarian Music (HHM) in the heart of the park is due to a series of important elements around it (City Park Ice Rink, Castle of Vajdahunyad, Olof Palme House). It is a museum which opens to all directions, welcoming the citizens from every part of the city. A building without a back façade.

As one of the future main pedestrian axis in the park, the Green Belt will lead the citizens to the HHM. The main public access is designed therefore on the Green Belt, on ground level and underground level as well which is an access from the public parking, via an underground connection.

A museum between the trees

How to build in the nature with respect and innovation, in harmony with the valuable trees on the plot ?” The design follows the idea of carefully occupying the ground around the trees. This approach maximizes the interaction between the exhibition space and the other functions, by discovering the educational and recreational activities while visiting the exhibition, and at the same time being in close contact with the surrounding nature.

The low building does not compete with the Green Belt and the precious high trees on our plot. In this way, the building mass respects the nearby buildings such as the Castle of Vajdahunyad. The result is a horizontal landmark that the public will see between the tree trunks.

Space relations of the building. Program location / orientation on the site

The design proposes an exhibition circuit on three levels. The visitors have the opportunity to discover educational and recreational activities along this circuit, reinforcing the connection between culture and education. The exhibition spaces are oriented towards the two courtyards, whereas the circulation between the exhibition spaces is open to the park.

Around the courtyards, both the exhibition spaces offer varied perspectives on the ground floor, first floor and the sky. Visual connection between the permanent and the temporary exhibition on two levels invite the visitors to discover both spaces.

Experiencing sound

The sound experience starts outside the building and invites the visitors to discover the world of sound in the HHM.

The sound chimneys provide natural ventilation and light in the darkest place of the room. From time to time, using the natural wind from the North-West lake, the museum becomes a wind instrument playing with the environmental conditions.

The museum is interpreted as a solid wind instrument. The façades and the roof are covered with brass. The robust façade material changes when exposed to the atmosphere into an overall brownish tone.

Landscaping HHM garden

The open space around the building follows the idea of the landscape garden, interpreted in a contemporary way. The aged dominant trees are kept in a large number. They seem to embrace the HHM, which draws aside to give the trees as much space as they need to grow comfortably. The bosk gets enhanced with a pack of bright blooming cherry trees (Prunus serrulata). In combination with the shiny appearance of the museum, it transmutes the park into a bright glooming jewel in springtime.

HHM is a place to stimulate everyday life for citizens of Budapest. HHM also gives relaxation spaces as it stands in the centre of nature. The challenge is to suggest spaces, in which visitors can experience between sound, art and nature.

Status: Competition

Client: Museum of Fine Arts Budapest / Városliget Zrt.

Place: Budapest, Hungary

Architecture: SHSH, Teampannon (local architetcs)

Landscape: Bauchplan

Structure: Greisch

Building services: SMG-SISU Budapest

Environment: A-Zero

Acoustics: Daidalos

Surface: 9.900 m2

January 2015