The masterplan for the Photo and Architectural Museum aims to revitalize a long forgotten but historically important axis of the City Park commencing at the ’56 Memorial square. The project sets out to improve the main access set out by the historic Varosligeti fasor, opening the interiors to daylight and views and establishing direct links with the surrounding park. The new homes for these exciting exhibitions are conceived to transform the visitor experience. Improving the museum’s setting in the park, the approach is scooped out to create two identical but also asymmetric entrances facing the ’56 Memorial statue.
The key to unlocking the design solution was the acceptance to treat the two separate buildings as one continuous unit, which were forced to be split for eternity but would never allow any to stay in the visitor’s memory without their counter parts.
The café and shop are positioned at the lower entrance level, rather than distracting at the exhibition levels. The generous façade perforations open directly onto the park, allowing the café seating to extend and potentially allowing these facilities to be used outside the museum’s opening hours.
The building will also accommodate a program of permanent and temporary exhibitions, lectures, concerts and multi-media presentations for the benefit of the general public. The composition of the urban form is essentially a simple cube volume cut into two asymmetrical parts being the complementary unit of one an other. The external skins of both units are the exact opposites to each other, while they create a transition from openness to closed envelope zones, the front faces use a different language. The skewed angled surface resembling a sliced sleek surface naturally creates a curved surface that will be a defining feature for the exterior as well as the interior of the new Photo and Architectural Museum. The façade is conceived as white architectural concrete, cast in-situ with interlocking modular units of open scales.
The Museum of Photography located closer to the Hero’s Square and the Architectural Museum positioned on the eastern side of the ’56 Memorial Square combine contemporary exhibition facilities with grand architectural displays and more functional spaces for representation of the various photo collections. These contemporary art galleries of the Architectural Museum are characterized by the spatial qualities of large open floor plans with generous ceiling heights and great flexibility for internal divisions and daylight control.
The Photo Museum, on the other hand, is more appropriately the inverted version of the architectural counter part, where the introvert space is arranged for contemplation and focus. We created a composition to fuse these two traditional architectural archetypes, the negative black box and the positive white cubes.
The building volumes become opposites of each other, while generating a new public art piazza that revitalizes the ’56 Memorial Square. Both cubes on each side create encounters between the various users of the buildings, blurring the boundaries between art, public life, education and leisure. The buildings become rational, transparent and solid, unique and flexible, inverses to each other while completing each other.