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2019/05/13

The word-class museum support centre has opened on Szabolcs Street

The building housing the National Museum Restoration and Storage Centre (OMRRK) is situated beside the Városliget on Szabolcs Street, on the site of a former hospital. Along with boasting world-class museum storage areas, restoration studios, laboratories and research rooms, the 37,000-square-metre building complex also hosts the Central European Art History Research Institute a visitor centre.

With nearly 30,000 square metres of floor space, the central building provides an infrastructure of outstanding quality for the preservation and scholarly treatment of more than 300,000 artworks from the Museum of Ethnography, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery.  The 20-billion-forint project provides a reassuring long-term solution for the problems of collecting and storing national public collections that had existed for many decades.  


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Construction work on the building housing the institution is complete, and is now being followed by the installation technical museum equipment and moving in the artworks.

The construction of the institution is much more significant the the resolution of many decades of issues for three major national public collections: The development is also ahead of its time in that very few European museums are able to benefit from a similarly sophisticated service infrastructure. The Hungarian development is a worthy peer of London's British Museum, the newly built facility at the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the specialist institutions of Paris Louvre currently under construction in terms of its capabilities, equipment and capacity alike.

The largest facility in the new building complex is the structure housing the museum storage areas and restoration workshops. Across seven levels, four of them underground, it provides modern and secure conditions for these functions. The studios, office, ateliers and laboratories located here will provide the museum professionals employed at the OMRRK with the highest level of scientific and technical support.

The former hospital's reconstructed synagogue, now the reception building, houses a visitor centre of several thousand square metres that includes a conference room and exhibition hall. The reconstruction took historic preservation considerations into account.

The building complex also hosts the more-than-3000-square-metre Central European Art History Research Institute (KEMKI) with an archive of books and documents aimed at helping researchers in their work. KEMKI is becoming one of the most significant art history documentation centres in Central Europe and is based around an archive of documents systematically collected from the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery over more than a century. Supplementing this material are others from Artpool and the former Lectorate of Fine and Applied Arts, meaning around a million and a half documents will be available to researchers.


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Singular even by European standards, the cluster of institutions will also home to 13,000-square-metre park which is under development and will be open to the public during opening hours.

This development project based on the designs of the Narmer Architecture Studio and its manager, Ybl Award-winner Zsolt Vasáros, strives to find a harmony between the old and new buildings. Two old buildings on the plot designed by Vilmos Freund were redeveloped taking historic preservation considerations into account. The new building's segmentation and use of materials conform to the 19th century to the small volume small-volume hospital pavilion buildings, with its simple structures and classical proportions called upon to evoke a character of timelessness and stability.

Excavated in the course of the project were 108,000 cubic metres of soil, with 4,800 tons of reinforcement steel and around 500 kilometres of cable also being used. The building's entire heating and cooling needs are supplied by 160 ground source heat pumps and one air source heat pump, and the solar collectors on the roof generate a major portion of the electricity consumed.

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