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Refurbishment of the Lechner Building: Museum of Applied Arts design competition results

The Museum of Applied Arts stands out among its counterparts in Europe, partly because the of hundreds of thousands of artistically valuable items in its collections, but also because of the special character of Ödön Lechner's building, completed in 1896. It was an architecturally innovative design, built to very high standards, and it documents the creation of the national architectural style. Recognising the need to renovate a building which suffered multiple depredations during the 20th century, the government decided to launch a design competition in December 2011. This would open the way to rescuing one of Hungary's most attractive buildings, restore its original appearance and show off its collections in unprecedented completeness, before the "great unpacking" programme.

These aims are connected with the idea of building a new wing of the building to complete Lechner's work, and could have a favourable effect on the direct surroundings of the Museum. The primary aim of launching the competition and the main assessment criterion was to provide the conditions for an up-to-date museum, complete with public service spaces, exhibition spaces, research workshops and restoration workshops. The design should form a substantial part of Hungary's future cultural development.

The European Union design competition announced on 22 May 2012 was itself highly successful: there were 32 valid entries, all made fully public by the Museum after the judges had made their decision so that experts and the interested public could make their own opinions. (The entries were exhibited after the results were announced, from 10 August to 5 September).

Details of the competition

The subject of the European Union design competition announced by the Museum of Applied Arts was the reconstruction and value-enhancing reconfiguration of the Museum's historic main building. The design also had to make a proposal for renovating the built environment of the Museum. The design had to address issues of architecture, technical services and historic-building restoration, based on the design programme issued by the client:

Architectural and technical reconstruction and restoration of the severely-degraded historic building.

Reconfiguration of the entire exhibition system, taking account of the reorganisation of the building's functions and the freeing up of large areas. Setting out spaces to display the art works in an environment that guarantees the strictest art-work protection conditions.

"Completion" of the building by constructing the Hőgyes Endre utca wing. Integrating the old and new parts of the building to the highest functional and aesthetic standards.

Linking the building to its surroundings, and embedding it in the urban fabric.

Reassessment of operating issues, providing environmentally-aware and economic operability.

The competition was announced on 11 May 2012 and the submission deadline was 16 July 2012. A total of 35 entries were received before the deadline, but 3 had to be excluded on formal grounds, and so the Assessment Committee ultimately considered 32 entries. The committee awarded the following prizes: first prize (HUF 5 million), second prize (HUF 4 million) and two third prizes (HUF 2.5 million each). A further six entries were purchased (HUF 1 million each).

Under a non-announced negotiated public procurement procedure, the Museum will make a contract with the author(s) of the winning entry to produce the architectural permission application plans for the building. The government grant also covers the a diagnostic examination of the building, the feasibility study for the full reconstruction and the relevant museological plans. By the end of the process in spring 2013, every condition will be in place for the Museum to start work on reconstruction, which to a considerable extent will be financed from European Union grants. As the Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Resources said earlier, "the refurbished Museum of Applied Arts will be Hungary's treasure chest, visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year."

Annex 1


Voting members:
Chairman: Dr Imre Takács, Director, Museum of Applied Arts
Co-chairman: Prof Dr Ákos Moravánszky, chartered architect, ETH Zürich
Secretary: Dr Zsombor Jékely, Deputy Director, Museum of Applied Arts

István Ferencz, DLA architect and designer, delegate of the Hungarian Academy of Art
Dr József Sisa, art historian, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Art History
Margit Pelényi, chartered architect, delegate of the Chamber of Hungarian Architects
Balázs Szűcs, Chief Architect, Budapest 9th District Ferencváros
Péter Hegedűs, chartered architect
Gábor Kruppa, chartered architect
Péter Lenzsér DLA chartered architect
Standby member: Csaba Masznyik, chartered architect

Non-voting experts:
Dr Péter Tamás Illényi, legal and public procurement expert
Gyula Káldi, historic buildings expert
Dr Tamás Lichter, structural engineering expert
Kornélia Hajtó, restorer and art work protection expert
Dr Géza Entz, art history expert

First prize (HUF 5 million): entry no. 9

Vikár és Lukács Építész Stúdió Kft. (1052 Budapest, Szervita tér 5), Hungary

Second prize (HUF 4 million): entry no. 29

Balázs Mihály Építész Műterme Kft. (1027 Budapest, Horváth u. 1), Hungary

Third prize shared (2.5 million each):

Építész Stúdió Kft. (1016 Budapest, Krisztina krt. 71), Hungary (entry no. 27.)
Tamás Lévai / Tarka Kft. (1021 Budapest, Vadaskerti út 11), Hungary (entry no. 21)

Purchased entries HUF 1 million each:

  • CET Budapest Kft./Archigeo Bt. (1011 Budapest, Szőnyeg u. 1./1091 Budapest, Üllői út 11-13), Hungary (entry no. 33)
  • Dobai Építésziroda Kft. (1111 Budapest, Budafoki út 9-11), Hungary (entry no. 22)
  • Mérték Építész Stúdió Kft. (1093 Budapest, Lónyai u. 29), Hungary (entry no. 18)
  • Gettoplan Bt. (7625 Pécs, Felsőhavi u. 29), Hungary (entry no. 13)
  • MNDP Építőművészeti Kft. (1011 Budapest, Szilágyi Dezső tér 4), Hungary (entry no. 4)
  • Finta és Társai Építész Stúdió Kft. (1024 Budapest, Margit krt. 39), Hungary (entry no. 3)

The first-prize plan by Vikár és Lukács Építész Stúdió can be viewed and downloaded from the építészfórum website. Építészfórum, in collaboration with the Museum, also provides access to the other prize-winning designs.


Last modified 2018. January 18. 14:53:48

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