This is Europe’s largest and most ambitious urban cultural development.
Liget Budapest Project envisions the complete renewal of Budapest's largest and most iconic public park. Such rehabilitation can only be implemented at a 21st-century standard, while fully respecting the park’s 200-year-old heritage. Thanks to this mega-investment a crown jewel for Budapest will be born, which will become the capital's must-visit magnet development both for local as for visitors. The uniqueness of this magnificent project lies in the capability of bringing together the best of two worlds without compromise: renewed Városliget will be a green oasis in the middle of the city offering unrivalled leisure+cultural experiences for both Budapest citizens and tourists from all around the world.
After shortlisted for the ‘Best Futura Mega Project’ award by an international jury comprised of leading international real estate experts and architects in MIPIM 2017, the whole European professional community monitors the Liget Budapest Project which is already in the execution phase. 2018 was a milestone in the history of the Liget Budapest Project, when after six years of preparatory work the execution of the plans started.
Evidence of that, that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán handed over in May, 2019 one of the most important element of the Liget Budapest Project, the National Restoration and Storage Centre. The institution features state-of-the-art storage areas, restoration workshops, research rooms and offices, the plans have also allocated a space in a reconstructed medical edifice to the Central European Art History Research Institute in the building complex of some 37,000 square metres equipped to satisfy every professional requirement. The Centre is one of the most advanced institution of its kind in Central Europe. The project has already raised the profile of its neighbourhood: as a magnet development it attracted several investors to the location and also increased the values of the surrounding real estates.
Another highlight of the project, that the construction of - the new building of Europe’s first ethnographic institutions - the Museum of Ethnography has already reached an advanced phase. The unique shaped museum is already recognized as one of the most exciting contemporary building in the continent. It has won the fiercely contested title of World’s Best Architecture at the 2018 International Property Awards. The project was one of over 1700 entries from 115 countries, scrutinised by a judging committee, which is chaired by four UK Lords as well as over 80 global experts. The museum will be open in early 2022.
The House of Music was conceived with the intention of becoming the latest in a long line of iconic Budapest buildings. The eminent Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has created a modern and extravagant home for music. During the design stage, Fujimoto drew inspiration from both the worlds of nature and music, and these two sources are clearly evident in the details of his final design. The building’s distinctive floating roof, for example, is a wave-inspired visual representation of resonating sound, while Fujimoto also placed significant emphasis on the symbiosis of nature and the built environment. The result is a light, airy, open, accessible and harmonious building, carefully planned to the very last detail. Construction work is on schedule, the building is structurally complete, the institute will open it's gates in late 2021.
The reconstruction and restoration of the Olof Palme House, one of the Városliget's monuments, is already complete, and the building opened again in October, 2019 with a new name: the Millennium House. After being unused and in a poor state of repair for many years, the Neo-renaissance building in the heart of Városliget will re-open its doors at the end of 2018. It will be operated as a cultural venue and restaurant. At the time of its building, it was praised mainly for its colourfulness, thanks to the unique Zsolnay porcelain decorations of the facade. The overall reconstruction was based on the original design by Ferenc Pfaff and included the restoration of the original, colourful Zsolnay ceramic decorations of the facade. The new facility also house an events centre equipped with technological solutions that will fully meet contemporary expectations, as well as a restaurant, evoking the mood of the 19th century.
The comprehensive development of Városliget, the quality of the park’s entire flora will be fundamentally improved and its area significantly increased. Car traffic through the park will cease, and so will parking above ground. The aim of the landscape competition’s winning team is to reconstruct the 200 years old park as much as possible to its original state, although sometimes the past has been radically reinterpreted into new scenery. After the successful handover of the first phase an adventure park for dogs, a sensory garden for the bling people and youth sports ground opened it's gates in 2018. 2019 marked the start of the second phase of the park's development, in which one of the biggest and most modern playgrounds in the country has been handed over in October, 2019. The Main Playground offers each age group a separate network of slides, along with nest, circle and hanging swings, rope courses, rotating play equipment, equipment for individual and doubles kicking games, trampolines, various sandboxes and water games in a total area of more than 13,000 square metres. The central element of the Main Playground will be a three-level climbing cage inspired by Pál Szinyei Merse's painting The Balloon, promoting playful artistic associations. As part of the family-friendly developments, the Városliget will host a total of seven new or renovated playgrounds.
The renewed botanical garden, a new adventure park for dogs and the two-kilometre long, illuminated City Park Circular Running Track have been completed within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project second phase. The Mőcsényi Mihály Botanical Garden awaits visitors as a colourful, atmospheric communal space and knowledge centre on nature, while sports enthusiasts can utilise the completed two-kilometre circular tartan track within a few days. As a result of these developments, over 150,000 m² of green area was revamped during the implementation of the Liget Budapest Project along with the planting of almost 500 new, healthy trees. The next development phase of the park has already began in early 2021, which will continue with a complete landscaping renovation through the development of a new green area of over several thousand square metres.
The renovation of the Museum of Fine Arts is completed, the building was re-opened to the public in October, 2018, which was a ground-breaking success: more than 100.000 visitors were registered ever since. The comprehensive reconstruction of the institution is simultaneously aimed at the restoration of the building’s historic values and at the modernisation of its technological and operational systems to meet 21st-century requirements. The three-year-long reconstruction project was realised within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project which was carried out on 14,000 square metres, constituting some 40% of the museum’s total floor space. The museum’s impressive Romanesque Hall – which was badly damaged during World War II, and not renewed substantially and thus closed to the general public and used as a storage area – is renewed as part of the reconstruction works. New exhibition spaces, visitor service areas and modern storage facilities had also been added.
Implementing the vision of a car-free City Park has reached a landmark: the Museum Underground Parking Lot has been opened as part of the Liget Budapest Project in December, 2021. The facility provides green parking on Dózsa György Road for park visitors and local residents. The three-storey underground car park with 800 spacious parking spaces is completely accessible and fitted with EV charging stations as well as parking spaces for families.The unique feature of the car park in all of Europe, namely that reflecting the more than one-hundred-year-old tradition of the City Park being home to the arts, the interior of the car park is decorated with reproductions of 12 masterpieces selected from Hungary’s national collections, one work each by twelve outstanding Hungarian artists from László Moholy-Nagy and Ilona Keserü through Dóra Maurer and Imre Bak to Victor Vasarely. This interior is not only unique and spectacular but also assists users in finding their way around. The area above the Museum Underground Parking Lot has finally been returned to the City Park: the basalt stone paved site occupied for decades in the past by parked cars is now replaced by an atmospheric promenade with more than ten thousand square metres of green surfaces.
Further elements of the project is being delivered by some of the world’s most celebrated international architects including Pritzker Prize-winning SANAA (Japan) who have designed the park’s New National Gallery.