The Liget Budapest Project can be considered Hungary’s most extensive cultural development of the last hundred years that envisions the complete renewal of Budapest’s largest and most iconic public park. At Saturday night’s panel discussion at the Art Market Budapest contemporary art fair, the leading world authorities of the area explained that this project is a unique cultural investment that acts as a catalyst for society and economic life and represents a huge step forward in the development of the capital.
The publicly funded Liget Budapest Project is surrounded by controversy and strong political disagreement in Hungary. Still, the situation in the case of large-scale cultural investments is similar to that in the USA, said András Szántó, a writer, researcher, art and media consultant living in New York, author of The Future of the Museum. The project has been in the execution phase for a few years, and many elements have already been completed: for example,
the Hungarian Museum Restoration and Storage Centre was handed over in May 2019, the renovation of the Museum of Fine Arts was completed, and the building was re-opened to the public in October 2018.
An adventure park for dogs, a youth sports ground and the two-kilometre long, illuminated City Park Circular Running Track have also been completed within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project. The construction of the House of Hungarian Music and the Museum of Ethnography have already reached an advanced phase and are almost completed.
What is still missing is the New National Gallery which will be designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architectural firm SANAA and built on site of the Petőfi Csarnok concert venue, writes Magyar Nemzet.
Italian architect Serena Di Giuliano emphasised that the success of these projects depends on whether they can fit well into the city and bring their environment to life. For example,
David Greenbaum highlighted that the light, airy and almost entirely translucent building of the House of Hungarian Music fits perfectly into its surroundings, and the whole project is characterised by accessibility.
Serena Di Giuliano added that
the entire design process for the New National Gallery was based on the building’s relationship with the park
and they carefully examined and took into account the impact of the museum on its immediate surroundings and the City Park as a whole. They also calculated the expected ecological footprint of the building so that it would not be larger than the one of Petőfi Hall, writes Infostart.
Graham Bell, director of Cultura Trust, likened the current Liget Budapest Project to the Hungarian National Millennium Exhibition of 1896, with the difference that it is not just a one-time series of events but an investment that has to be sustainable in the long run. He emphasised that
the investment relates to the traditions of the City Park with creative dynamism, and the Liget Budapest project is equally characterised by beauty and sustainability.
Read our previous article for more photos and details about the Liget Budapest Project: