24.hu writes that the not-debated changing of the regulations regarding Budapest’s cityscape allows a 120-metre-high tower block to be built at the Kopaszi dam in Buda.
The uniquely beautiful and popular cityscape of Budapest might change, because Property Market, a company of Market Építő plc., plans to greatly change the Lágymányosi bay and the Kopaszi dam: their project called BudaPart would result in the area becoming a 21st century quarter. The first visuals were already released in May 2016.
The visuals, made by Adapt, include a tower block of 120 metres to be constructed at the Kopaszi dam and function as an office centre. This idea, however, raised quite some questions, and left a few people uncomfortable, because such a building would definitely change – and most probably in a negative way – the wonderful cityscape of Budapest. Furthermore, according to the regulations limiting the construction of high-rise buildings, dated in 2015, in order to preserve that scape such a project could be only implemented in North Csepel.
But in early December, the Budapest City Council changed its city building design policy, which thus modified the maximum height of blocks allowed to be built in the city: from the former 65 metres they increased the max height to 120 metres. Hence, seemingly there are no obstacles for constructing the block.
However, the change was carried out without social and professional debate, wherefore several noted Hungarian architects wrote and signed an open letter, titled “Do not construct a tower block near the downtown, at Buda’s Danube bank”, in order to save the special panorama of Budapest. The letter points out how the block would worsen the scape by being only one kilometre away from the 130-metre-high Gellért hill and three kilometres away from the Castle Hill, which would be the shorter of the two. Thus, the harmony of the cityscape would certainly be disturbed.
Also, the regulating of high-rise buildings in the city has been especially important for decades for the urban development: overall regulations were accepted first in 1995, then in 2002, and in 2015. All three cases marked systematic regulations, keeping in mind that Budapest’s panorama is a treasure, a historic heritage, and the greatest tourist attraction of the city, which should be preserved and protected.
Furthermore, the letter mentions that the latest regulation was based on the city-building plan, result of the long-term urban development concept titled Budapest 2030. The intention was to regulate the whole city, so that no incidental decisions would affect the long-term development. Therefore, tower blocks can be exclusively constructed in the northern part of the Csepel island, not only for the sake of the protection of the cityscape, but also due to the factors of transportation, structure development, and area policy.
Concluding the letter, the architects say that it is unacceptable to remodify the accepted and grounded regulations to fit the needs of an investor, without conducting professional and social debates on the matter.
The persons signing the letter are:
György Alföldi DLA, architect and associate professor of urban planning; Sándor Bardóczi, landscape architect; János Brenner, architect, professor, and Hild award winner urbanist; Gábor Csanádi, sociologist; György Kevés, Kossuth and Ybl award winner architect; Imre Körmendy, architect and director of MUT; András Lányi, philosopher and associate professor; Imre Pákozdi, publicist; István Schneller, architect, professor and Iván Tosics, sociologist.
Copy editor: bm