Cunning solutions - the P+R facility and pavilion in Őrmező
Regarding the success of the whole new metro line M4 of Budapest and its terminal in Kelenföld (Őrmező) district, it is an inevitable step to construct a complex intermodal hub, which secures the possibility of changing from one means of transport to another one. It has locally a number of elements as the future bus terminal that will serve local and distant transportation and the newly built P+R facility and pavilion, both are evident parts of the whole concept. The most important aim of the metro line M4 construction was to reduce congestion in the city centre and to reduce surface – mostly road – transport gradually, in which P+R facilities play an important role, considering that this is the place where motorists coming from the catchment area and outer districts can leave their cars and proceed by metro, tram, bus or bike. Consequently, the everyday experience of transfers inside this area is largely dependent on the layout and quality of the parking facility and the pavilion.
The concept of the new P+R parking facility
During the design process of the P+R parking lot, our main goal was to exceed the generally unsatisfying design quality of the domestic transport infrastructure. We also aimed to set up a new standard within the scene. The layout of the parking lot, the circulation of people organised along a comfortable pedestrian footpath, the plantation of trees far beyond the legal necessity, the carefully selected street furniture, the sophisticated drainage and other infrastructural systems all serve this common aim in an unnoticed manner - all embedded in a powerful concept.
Formerly, the Kelenföld Railway Station’s 8 peripheral railway tracks used to run across the area, so part of the project also included the demolition of these tracks, as a result of which the railway station’s infrastructure had to be partially reorganised as well. The primary project element (P+R car park) was constructed with concrete paving and asphalt surfaces while taking into account the site’s special stretched geometry. As a result of the latter element, the parking facility can be approached along two longitudinal roads running parallel with the adjoining railway tracks to which the parking places were built perpendicularly.
The central path covered with paving stones provides a suitable place for collecting pedestrians in an organised and secure manner, while at the same time it allows them to reach the new pavilion. During the whole design process, inclusive design and easy accessibility were considered as primary concept elements.
The concept of the pavilion
Most of those who arrive by car in the morning and leave late in the afternoon primarily use the infrastructure of metro line M4, therefore it is substantial to ensure that high volume of people could quickly access the metro underpass from the P+R facility. Consequently, the pedestrian connection between the transport systems represented by the new pavilion providing shelter from the weather conditions is an inseparable function of the operations of the new parking facility.
While developing the architectural concept of the new pavilion, the most beautiful historical examples of the pavilion architecture of Budapest provided an inevitable reference. These works usually date back to the pre-war years, before WWII, when there was a high-quality design that our contemporary public places, unfortunately, lack nowadays.
The architectural appearance of the pavilion
Both structurally and architecturally, the pavilion can be divided into two main parts: a massive substructure, located under the ground, and a light superstructure above the ground. The substructure is basically a monolith box structure made of reinforced concrete, while the superstructure can be described as a light-structure with steel support and flat roof. The mainly orthogonal pavilion’s edges and ends have a geometrical curve, which represents a formal solution reacting the pedestrians’ circulation.
The pavilion has two entrances, the elevators and the stairs leading to the metro underpass can be directly accessed from an undivided common forefront. When reaching the underpass level, one can get into a more spacious public passenger area from which a connecting part with lower inner height leads into the existing underpass.
From a construction point of view, the building process of the pavilion was a real challenge because the reinforced concrete structure of the underpass had to be partially demolished in order to make an opening, all of the infrastructure in the relevant wall section had to be relocated, and we had to create an expansion joint at the connection of the new structure.
In the pavilion with a dual character, the massive body of the substructure resisting great earth pressure is covered with coloured exposed fibre concrete panels from inside. The upper structure can mainly be compared to a light glass pavilion, where glass panels with hidden fastening run in front of elegant columns. The dark expanded steel appearance of the pavilion makes a resemblance to the realm of the adjacent railway infrastructure, evoking its atmosphere.
Márton Dévényi, Pál Gyürki-Kiss (Marp)