For a long time, this spot had been a brown stain on the map of the capital. At one point, this industrial plot was used as a parking lot, and they even planned to build a mall on top, but fortunately, the fate of this spot was different. At the end of this summer, it became a breezy, green, and exciting new public park with amazing elements of landscape architecture. It is the newest park of Budapest, the Széllkapu.
According to Index, they do not often build parks in big cities, and even if they do, it is usually not like Széllkapu. Most of the time what they call parks are small areas of grass planted in the middle of an apartment complex or some random benches put under some tree, but this one – luckily – is very different.
Széllkapu is a relaxation park, which implies that there are ways one can relax and recharge in this new green environment. While in many parts of the world, people enjoy sitting around in the grass having picnics or reading, Hungarians are only now learning to be able to relax like that. And this new park is perfectly suitable to do so. The park was immediately “taken over” by people on lunch breaks, high school students from the area, and families with small children. It is partly thanks to the fact that from the get-go, the park was a thick and luscious green with not just young trees.
As we mentioned, most of Széllkapu has a thick and beautiful green area with some interesting plants as well.
The hanging garden, for example, has a miniature forest at its base, which provides sufficient shade to relax in. Although the weather in early summer might have helped make this park the greenest possible, we should also highlight the works of the designers: TSPC Technical Supervision and Planning Consulting Hungary Kft. (architecture), 4D Tájépítész Iroda (landscape architecture), and Parkertech Kft. (landscaping), who have hidden some interesting elements in every inch of this new park and who have crammed the most green into this urban jungle.
The most spectacular element of Széllkapu is the huge steel frame densely overgrown by plants, which is perfect for covering the sidewall of the Mammut mall and increasing the green area of the park by a significant amount at the same time, not to mention that it has a panoramic elevator and a lookout on top.
Do not forget that this is also the largest hanging garden in Central Europe, and you can walk through this green bridge.
In the middle of the park, there are three large solar ‘trees’. These interestingly shaped structures provide shade during the day, and they provide light during the night. They also have solar panels on top, and although they might not make enough electricity to power the entire city, they definitely help the park have a smaller carbon footprint.
Families with small children might not be as interested in these structures, but for them, there is even a playground in the park, which includes an exciting ropeway surrounded by flowers, which is definitely a change compared to most of Budapest’s playgrounds. There is also a swing for the parents to enjoy.
The project in numbers:
35,000 m2 area
355 trees and 25,000 shrubs
4,000 m2 vertical green space
850 m2 playground
3 huge solar panels
an underground garage
For as long as residents of the area drive cars, and for the time being many do, this underground garage could be the key to being able to create more cafés, parks, and other green areas as it moves the masses of cars from the surface underground and hide them from the eyes of people.
The park is very good because it is interesting. It has some small hills and a valley, there are walking trails winding through it, and there are interesting plants on every corner. It is very diverse and modern, thanks to architectural elements like the hanging garden and the three solar ‘trees’.