architecture : urban : visual culture

Reconnect the unequally developing parts of Budapest

Lázár Dorottya wanted to design a building, which reconnects the unequally developing parts of Újlak to the lively and pedestrian friendly north Buda side, by responding to the characteristics of the area and by remaining true to the existing housing, meanwhile heading into the direction of a new developement concept.

On the north side Újlak is bordered with Óbuda Promenád, with pedestrian streets and restaurants and on the south side it is bordered with Felhévíz, an area that is rich in thermal springs and therefore it offers a great variety of services connected to thermal water. The goal is to generate a tourist-spa complex and use the potential of this area, what is given but not yet developed. The planned building will include accomodation and recreational services in the profile of the future development direction.

There are two axes, pedestrian and traffic, which are parallel to the Danube on he north Buda side. The continuity of the pedestrian line breaks inbetween Kolosy square and Zsigmond sqare, where we find a block slightly underdeveloped compared to the area. The long therm segregation of the block bordered by Bécsi road, Felhévízi street and Ürömi street is also important for the surrounding areas.

The examined block has different installation and terrain features. The lower part along Bécsi road is characterized by one-storey, residential buildings, meanwhile the higher part, Felhévízi street is a more intensively built, higher level installation, and in the center of the block we find rich vegetation. The three masses of the building respond to these different divergences, and breaking down the building into smaller units aims to fit the scale of the block. The masses organize protected, green interior gardens with different character, which provide the growth and the sense of health, keeping the recreational feeling.

On the long and thin site, the dual function; public (services) - private (accommodation) elements find their place between the busy Bécsi road and the quiet Felhévízi street. A route that serves the need for interoperability organizes the floor plan, which is displayed is three ways. One, is where the route is a corridor, along closed spaces, the second where this corridor gets more volume and the space opens up, the third is where we have a big spatial area. Lifting the space vertically, and the light from above illuminates and leads along the path and along the whole building.

Clay, a material very specific to this area, appears as the skin of the building, alternating between solid and semi-transparent surfaces, the masses of the blocks are getting thinner or thicker, according to the density of the skin, and creating an exciting variety of light and shadow surfaces. The ceramic net uses a pattern of traditional brick architecture, and displays the ancient material in a modern, new form. Natural materials and green interior gardens provide tranquility and relaxation at a frequented spot in the city.

Dorottya Lázár

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