BUDA / Budapest Museum

Budapest is a place of exception. Not only historically but also in its current state of affairs. The Liget projects incarnate a new form of urban renewal and development, post-Bilbao effect, post-crisis and set the tone for the city’s ambitions.

The coordination that the competition offers by joining the various future projects under a common umbrella clearly resonates a new type of maturity in the making of the city. It empowers its actors and enables them to enter into a reflection about the city’s future. We believe that each of the 5 projects should have different authors. We have decided to take part in this exciting dialogue by proposing our intentions for the Museum of Architecture and the Museum of Photography.

In recent times, photography has gotten tremendously closer to Architecture. It has of course developed independently and exponentially throughout the proliferation of ever more available equipment and is banalised by our recent social media culture. The very strong and somewhat pristine stand that Hungary holds in Photography’s History is rather striking. There already the relation to Architecture was made: the rapid industrial developments of the late 19th century were captured by the first photographers and we have today a very detailed account of the changes that occurred in and out of Budapest.

In our time, photographers such as Iwan Baan or Julien Lanoo focus on the relationship of Architecture with its users but also with the macro environment it is part of. Those professionals are the recipients of many new recognitions (Baan won the first annual Julius Shulman Photography Award) that contribute to expand the world of Architecture out of its boundaries.

A tool such as Google Earth has transformed our understanding of cities, of our land and of architecture.

One of the paradoxical weakness of architecture is that it is where we are all born, where we all live, and where we will eventually all die, thus making us nearly blind to its charms. It is merely the wallpaper that surrounds us and for   a long time we simply forgot to notice it. With Photography and its multiple new facets we have re-established an active relation to Architecture. The idea of making those 2 disciplines part of a single competition, on a single location, is therefore brilliant. As we believe those 2 disciplines are nearly the two sides of the same coin.

The Liget area is traditionally an opened “pedestrian zone”, embedded in green.  The shape of the buildings is the infinity itself, but the symbol spatial: the roofs stands out from the grass, increase as the neighboring King’s Hill. The top of the roofs at 25 m: from this observation posts visible the whole Budapest. The visibility is the connection between the Photo and the Architecture. That is why the separate buildings standing facing each other: from one of them could peek into the other. 

The future is unpredictable, but in case of these buildings the potential stronger connection between them could be a “bridge” , or later a new liaison-level. Which would not be only a clasp of the buildings, but highlight the increasingly stronger connection of the architecture and photo art.