Garten Studio: The development started by demolishing a legendary department store of the 2nd half of the 20th century – SKÁLA BUDA. Its inauguration in 1976 passed for a sort of a little scandal, because SKÁLA brought into being based on western samples started its operation as a competitor for the chain stores built by the party-state. This was the first place in Hungary where people met moving staircases, shopping carts and music entertaining them during shopping. Whilst the building itself could be counted as revolutionary, the gardening of its environment practically failed to come about. Each square metre was occupied by parking vehicles. Though the department store has lost its one-time importance since that time, the area, as the centre of this part of the city, remained an ideal site for development.
Újbuda is one of the most densely populated districts of Budapest, ant it is going through significant changes. Construction of the stations of the new metro line is in progress, and the plans include the refurbishment of Vásárcsarnok (a market hall), the development of a cycle track network and an underground car-park. The development carried out by ING—that constructed a high-level shopping mall and entertainment centre (ALLEE), an office building and residential buildings in the area in the middle of the economic crises—links up with these developments. Thank to the successful cooperation with the local government, the environment has also been refreshed. A 100-m long public road tunnel has been built, the delimiting eastern and western streets became pedestrian zones, and, in the place of the former parking lots, an urban piazza and park awaits citizens.
While several Hungarian and foreign practices were involved in the architectural design (Chapman Taylor, Finta Stúdió, Lukács and Vikár, T2A), the landscaping and gardening of the entire development could be kept in a single hand. So we had the opportunity to harmonize the shapes of open spaces and to realize a consistent use of materials.
According to our motto, the image of a public space—apart from the indispensable functionality—is determined by original solutions of forms and by the spaces of interesting personal experience and action. This is why we put special emphasis on the uniqueness of the environment. Our aspiration in this regard may be recognised in the architecture of claddings, in the illumination of open spaces or the appearance of the water feature, the unique design of the playground fence and the street furniture.
landscape architecture: Garten Studio Ltd. (György Szloszjár, Borbála Salgó, Eszter Dandé)
project name: Újbuda (New Buda) City Centre
location: Október Huszonharmadika utca 8-10, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
period of design: 2007-2008
implementation period: 2009
area: 2 ha
comissioned by: ING REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT HUNGARY Ltd..
text: Garten Studio
photos: Attila Polgár