Publicly Accessible Buildings

SANAA design Hungarian gallery

The New National Gallery of Hungary is to be based on the plans of Japanese architects SANAA

by Nick Myall 26 November 2015


Another world class public building will be constructed in the Hungarian capital Budapest within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project. Based on the submitted competitive projects and the negotiations held in the past few months with architecture studios, the New National Gallery will be built in the Vársoliget (City Park) according to the design made by SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates) architects studio. The new, state-of-the-art museum will satisfy 21st-century requirements and it is planned that its doors will open in summer 2019.

Last October Városliget Zrt. announced a restricted international design competition for the building of the New National Gallery – Ludwig Museum, to be constructed on the site of the Pet?fi Events Hall. This April the jury of Hungarian and international experts ranked two of the nine submitted projects that fulfilled the competition requirements in first place. 

According to the jury’s decision the competitive projects of SANAA and Snøhetta both represent architecturally outstanding value and are of a world class standard both in their approach to the museum collection and to visitor needs. In the months that followed the announcement of the result – in accordance with regulations and public procurement legislation – several rounds of negotiations were conducted between the architecture studios and Városliget Zrt., during which the announcer considered the contractual conditions, the quality of co-operation with the Hungarian party, the technical content, scheduling and costs relating to the respective designs, as well as the economy of the planned buildings. Based on the negotiations and the submitted proposals SANAA won the commission.

The Japanese architecture studio has designed many prominent museum buildings in various parts of the world, including the new museum of the Louvre in Lens, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Glass Pavilion for the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. In addition to being awarded many international prizes, SANAA received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2010, regarded as the Nobel Prize of the architectural profession.

With the above decision the City Park will have two buildings constructed according to designs by world famous Japanese architects: another participant in the Liget Budapest project besides SANAA is Sou Fujimoto, who won the competition announced last year for the House of Hungarian Music, to be built in the place of the former Hungexpo Offices.

The City Park, which will be rejuvenated in all its elements by the end of this decade, will be home not only to newly constructed institutions but the old buildings will also be renovated and the green areas of the park rehabilitated and significantly increased. The dialogue between the park and the built environment is a priority in the implementation of the Liget Budapest Project, aimed at the renewal of the City Park. The built-up area of the City Park will remain under seven percent, as prescribed by law, while tens of thousands of sq ms will be added to the park’s green surface, thus extending it from the current 60% to 65%. The landscape architectural competition will be announced by Városliget Zrt. for the overall revamping of the park in December.


Nick Myall

News Editor

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