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Lépték-Terv Wins Budapest City Hall Park Public Competition

The circle of the City Hall Park

Circle forms connection and equality in between the city’s all-time leaders and locals at Budapest. Creates a representative square, elevates and centres in a symbolic and functional way the importance of green areas.
It is not a constructed circle, rather it takes shape by tuning together the various functions placed next to each other. It is not a perfect circle, nor is it important. It is sufficient that from wherever we look at it, people are unanimous that this is a circle, thus forming the basis of a common interpretation.
Circle creates harmony in the park. Forms a dynamic central square, majority of the people using the park are directed to a common area, while also leaving room for retreat. The elements complementing the circle fulfil all requirements posed against the City Hall Park. They invoke the facade of Károly Boulevard and add a unified view to the worn-out facade overlooking the park. They are generous with hospitality and resting areas, an ideal place for different events of various sizes.

City structure context

The City Hall Park is surrounded by such monumental or at least intended to be, facades and urban features, which with no exceptions, are the result of a desire to transform the city structure by colossal plans which eventually have not been realized. The City Hall Park will be born in the place of the backyard, a never completed block.
The problem of City Hall turning its back on the Károly Boulevard is dating back a good hundred years. Our predecessors often wanted to create an architectural sign that becomes an eternal iconic part of the Budapest landscape, while being able to turn the City Hall towards the Károly Boulevard.
The circle has no intent to reshape but rather to adapt, to make the most out of the existing structure.

Functioning of the park

Urban community place, forum, a representative event area and a resting garden, it can accommodate all venues, it caters for everyone’s needs, it is democratic square.
The central part is a large green area, together with the inherited alley of trees and the city wall. This is surrounded by a line with all the elements (shaded seating areas, table, drinking-fountain, water game, steam gate, flower areas, etc) that make this place valuable for everyday users. Around the central core, there is a paved communal shell with trees where events are organised, naturally involving the central green area.
On invoking the original facade of the City Hall building plans, the place reacts with lines of planted pergolas and leaning pillar structure. The most intense pedestrian traffic happens on the sidewalks of Károly Boulevard that is connected by the double pedestrian crossing from the Madách square direction.

From a “Non-place” to a “place”

The backyard of the City Hall, but even the hall itself is merely on the mental map of the locals. Should we strive to make this troubled “non-place” a “place” we need gestures of character that we can memorise. The instantly perceived circle serves the scope. There is a great need for this: the Erzsébet square, Deák Ferenc square, the City Hall Park are all lined up merging into one another and its perceived boundaries are contingent. There are more Deák Ferenc square stops near the City Hall Park and the Erzsébet square than actually on the Deák square itself. The park reflects on this situation as well as on the turn to the Károly Boulevard, being the century old symbolic aspiration for the City Hall.

Website: Budapest City Hall | Lépték-Terv (

Other designers involved in the design of landscape
(architects and landscape architects):

Project location (Street, City, Country): District V, Budapest

Design year: 2022 

Published on November 9, 2022

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