Városliget is not an entirely unknown venue for the Museum of Ethnography, since it was here in 1896, at the National Millennium Exhibition.
The collection, which now comprises 250 thousand items from the Carpathian Basin and from every corner of the world, has been hosted by various facilities since its establishment in 1872, but never in its history did it operate in a building designed specifically to cater to its needs. The current location, which once was home to the Hungarian Curia, is far from being suitable to meet the requirements of a museum, and is severely limited in terms of space and opportunities.
As a result of the international design competition, the Museum of Ethnography will be finally given a new home in a truly modern building of an all-round world-class standard that will satisfy professional requirements, while catering to the needs of the collection and visitors alike.
According to the decision of an international jury, the competition was won by the Hungarian architectural studio, Napur Architect, whose building is distinguished by a dynamic yet simple design harmonised with the natural environment of the park while communicating with the urban texture of its surroundings. The gently curving lines enable the building to function as a gateway and a passage linking the city and the park. Sixty percent of the structure is under ground level, and thanks to the landscaped roof and the transparency of the sections over the ground, the new museum is adapted to its environment in its scale too. The grass-covered roof area will be a pleasant community space awaiting visitors to Városliget.
The new functions and flexible spaces of the modern and state-of-the-art museum building will facilitate the understanding of the historical heritage embodied by the collection as well as the various aspects of contemporary society. Besides passing down this historical heritage, the realisation of more recent professional and research themes and perspectives continues to be among the priority objectives of the museum, as confirmed by its mission. The creatively built spaces will open up new opportunities to communicate with visitors, enabling the presentation of the everyday objects, phenomena and ideas of the past and the present side by side.
The purpose-built museum was designed with maximum consideration for the required functions, and thus facilitates the large-scale, modern, user-friendly operation of the institution to a significant degree, along with the visually enticing and diverse display of mankind’s material and spiritual heritage, as well as the collection comprising Hungarian and international material.