Our fundamental intention has been to create a design that makes the Hungarian National Gallery and Ludwig Museum a thoroughly welcoming and open place, functionally, creatively, and urbanisticaly. Its design layers activities and spaces in a way that will be as interesting to children as it will be to adults with various level of interest into art and cultural education. In essence, we have striven to design a building that radiates a sense of shared discovery. The building’s quality of presence and internal atmosphere is based on the concept of a swirling mass as a turbulent tornado of art, from which spaces, routes and atriums are carved or voided.
An atrium and central courtyard forms the heart of the building and is surmounted by a skylight and layers of dynamic expressions of various building components and screens to diffuse light and produce artfully shadowed internal volumes. The main exhibition space is located underground with an essential visual and special connection to the central piazza through a mid-level mezzanine lobby. The atrium and courtyard is surrounded by a physically dramatic series of concentric landscaping elements, ramps and stairs. This light dappled environment will offer a vibrant arrival space to celebrate of the arrival created by the new axis of newly planned museums originating from the ’56 Memorial Square and along the Hungarian House of Music. This is destined to become the place where art and modern architecture come together, and create the new home for Hungarian Art – newly branded center – called simply as H’ART.
The building’s drama comes from the powerful dynamic movement of the main body, a turbulent swirl where the sweep of the inner walls overlooks the courtyard. A continuous strip of glazing around the base of the vault washes the interior in daylight. The result is a light and open space, despite the fact that the structure is partly dug into the ground.
Visitor facilities consolidated at the base of the building. A grand opening in the floor of the central hall visually connects the different levels and draws daylight deep into the floor below. Vertical circulation is arranged to enable visitors to see and move more intuitively through the chronological arrangement of exhibition floors and these areas are clearly visibly to each other.
The building will display examples of Hungarian painters in the period between 1800 and 1950, a vast sculpture collection, temporary exhibitions, lectures, and multi-media presentations. The enclosure of the building’s grand central courtyard was prompted by a desire to transform the public’s experience of exterior public spaces and create one of the most active event spaces in the City Park.