Nieto Sobejano

New National Gallery-Ludwig Museum . Budapest

Nieto Sobejano . + liget budapest

Competition proposal. Finalist.

To build in a historic urban park such as the Varosliget is an opportunity to explore the limits between architec­ture and the landscape. We conceive the new museum as a dialogue between the organic forms of nature and the logic and rationality that architecture requires. The new building for the Uj Nemzeti Galeria and the Ludwig Muzeum participates in both worlds: outwardly portrayed as a free-form, a volume that resembles a cut tree trunk or even a pleated surface blown by the wind. But at the same time, inside, it responds to a rational formal structure that articulates the spaces of both institutions. The visitors can access the building from the four cardi­nal points. A vertical public space crosses in the North-South direction, connecting in the distance to Hermina Street and the Avenue Dozsa Gyorgy. Two other entries to the East and the West allow independent access to each museum for complementary uses. The citizens and the visitors will be attracted to this light, spacious and breathtaking vertical atrium, common to both museums. Once inside the foyer -lit with cenital light-, they may receive information, buy tickets, or enter the shops and cafes. From that space, the visitors will recognize the lobbies of the National Gallery and the Ludwig Museum, taking the decision of where to go.
Analogously to the cities of Buda and Pest, separated and connected by the Danube, our scheme is symbolized by the vertical space that "cuts and unites" the two institutions, one public and the other private, keeping their independence. The ground floor incorporates the lecture halls, event rooms and educational areas, in addition to the aforementioned cafes, restaurants and shops. Temporary exhibition spaces are also on this level, and can be used with direct access from the outside if desired. In the case of the Ludwig Museum, temporary exhi­bitions are also located on the first floor, spatially connected with the ground level. The upper floors of both museums are dedicated almost entirely to permanent exhibition halls, which admits a great flexibility of future museological arrangements. Both museums are spatially connected, allowing the continuity of the visit between the collections of the New National Gallery and the Ludwig Museum. The top floor includes the administration offices of each institution, which will help to achieve synergies in the operational level. The GAIA lab is desi­gned as a singular place with a large circular glass skylight, and with a direct visual and spatial connection to the foyer. Finally, a large terrace defines an open air space for common activities such as openings, events and celebrations, from where one can enjoy views of the park and the city of Budapest.
The structural system optimizes the use of materials in keeping with the architectural concept. A regular modula­tion, the preference for prefabricated building systems susceptible of being repeated, the choice of a concrete and metallic structural solution for large spans, and, finally, restraint in the palette of materials, are all arguments of the structural and construction strategy of the project. The sustainable approach of the design is based on the preservation of existing green areas, the recycling of gray water, the use of passive energy strategies (natural ventilation, daylighting control elements), the energy efficiency and renewable energy systems (PV and solar thermal], as well as the use of recycled and sustainable building materials.
The building is externally wrapped by a lightweight and artificially lit metallic skin, which is transformed into a visual installation within the landscape of the City Park. On this level, the exterior image of the museum is defined by an undulating façade formed by panels of recycled cast aluminium with perforations of different sizes, - a feature that will be developed in collaboration with a contemporary artist, as a joint action between architecture and the visual arts. In the historical City Park of Budapest the visitors will encounter the New Nati­onal Gallery and the Ludwig Museum, an unexpected and clearly recognizable building, an architecture that explores, in essence, a conceptual and territorial line between artificial and natural worlds.

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