• PARTNER IN CHARGE: Alessandro Orsini & Nick Roseboro
  • CLIENT: Liget Budapest / Varosliget Zrt.
  • PROJECT ARCHITECT: Giorgia Gerardi
  • TEAM: Richard W. Off, Rigo Gonzalez, Hillary Ho, Anna Laura Pinto
  • CONSULTANTS: Stephen Melville & Will Pearson, Ramboll UK (Structure), Fabrizio Filippi, Ramboll UK (Acoustics), Nadir Abdessemed & Krista Palen, Transsolar (Environmental Strategy),

The vision for the FotoMuzeum Budapest and Hungarian Museum of Architecture emerges from the idea of highlighting the entry gate to the Varosliget Park, framing the monument to the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

The urban strategy creates a morphology of a continuous but porous boundary that redefines the site with a prominent entrance to one of the city’s greatest green spaces, and also activates the surroundings functionally and visually, even at night, as the museums glow like lanterns which illuminate the plaza and the park behind.

Both museums are inscribed in a pure rectangular geometry suspended on the ground floor by a fluid concrete structure, and are clad in frosted cast glass. At park level the two museums lobbies face each other and they open to the monument plaza, providing an inviting transparency that draws visitors to events and activities.

The façades are composed by modular cast glass panels with a saw tooth section, measuring 3 by 1.80 meters. The prismatic section of the panels respond to the different angles of the sun, diffusing natural light into the public and circulation areas of the museums, but not interfering with the exhibition galleries which have a controlled artificial lighting system.

The overall architectural scheme derives from the specificity of the museums collections, defining a varied yet organic narrative of experience, guiding the visitors through the entire space and different exhibitions.

The experience of the fotomuzeum galleries is cinematic, composed by partial and framed perspectives, much like the medium of photography and film. The visitors navigate through an alternating rhythm of voids filled with natural light, and then through continuous sloping opaque volumes, where the actual exhibitions take place. The exhibition experience intertwines with elevated green plazas at different levels making the museum an extension of the park. From the prismatic façade the exhibition volumes cantilever out, creating public observation terraces and lounges, framing different views of the city, like the viewfinders and apertures of a camera.

In the Hungarian Museum of Architecture the type of experience can be defined as a series of volumes where time and space collapse, compressing vast areas and eras of architectural knowledge into composed and articulated boxes. The visitors are guided through singular and punctuated exhibition containers that create well defined tectonic boundaries for each type of architectural exhibition.

The perimeters of these exhibition boxes create openings on the roof that allow controlled sunlight inside the study and archive areas where the natural illumination is much needed. For specific occasions and exhibitions, filtered and attenuated light can penetrate inside the exhibition volumes by the use of an operable roof envelope, further adding to the dynamic and temporal quality of the museum form and experience.