Location: Budapest I., Ybl Miklós tér 1–6.
Date of completion: 2014
Senior architects: POTZNER Ferenc, POTTYONDY Péter
Interior designer: DÉVÉNYI Tamás (Budapesti Műhely)
Landscape designer: STEFFLER István (Garten Studio Kft.)
Buda Castle and Neighbourhood Public Transport Development Connected to the Reconstruction of the Castle Garden Bazaar
Senior architects: POTZNER Ferenc, POTZNER Ádám, SZABÓ Orsolya
Interior designers: DÉVÉNYI Tamás (Budapesti Műhely), BALIGA Kornél
Architect Ferenc Reitter was the first to present the idea of building up this site. Miklós Ybl, the best-known architect of the period, was commissioned to design the building complex. He followed Reitter’s concept and involved significant artists and craftsmen of the period in the construction between 1875 and 1883.
The purpose of the complex was to present a border to the Castle Garden on the terrace of the Danube embankment, creating a spectacular image of the royal palace in the cityscape. The complex is flanked by the former living quarters of the royal guards on the north and by two apartment buildings on the south. The apartment buildings are joined by rows of bazaars, followed by two-storied pavilions with open chambers: the Staircase Pavilion and the Niche Pavilion. The Gloriette with two domes is located at the axis between them, stepped ramps lead to the promenade of the garden terrace on both sides. Stairs lead from the main entrance – guarded by a pair of lions – to the lower terrace of the Gloriette, where female statues, symbolising the four seasons with their attributes, stand above the fluted columns. The street fronts of the pavilions are decorated with painted mythological figures. The iconography of the Castle Garden Bazaar shows the harmony of the world with the balance of untouched nature and cultivated land.
The Italian Renaissance was Ybl’s favourite style. The Castle Garden Bazaar shows the influence of numerous Italian buildings, but Ybl’s genius is demonstrated by the fact that he was able to combine them in perfect harmony and he could also integrate the medieval fortifications of the site into the garden complex and the access routes to the royal palace. The centuries old development of the Castle Garden was destroyed by the siege of the castle in 1944 and 1945. After the war, due to the priority of medieval reconstruction, all the buildings of the garden built into the fortifications were pulled down. The reconstruction design of the Castle Garden Bazaar, prepared by KÖZTI in the late 1950s, regarded the reconstruction of the medieval fortifications as a basis. The cylindrical staircase of the Staircase Pavilion was demolished at that time. The Buda Youth Park was opened in the consolidation period of the early 1960s, on the site of the Neo-Renaissance garden. Due to the present reconstruction, the Niche Pavilion – along with its role in the architectural composition – became the street level entrance of the multifunctional event hall, built under the garden behind the historical complex. Recognising its hidden possibilities, Ybl’s building has been enriched by unique rows of spaces during the reconstruction. The entrance hall is fronted by the Niche Pavilion and the original curved brick wall of the bazaar, demonstrating the amazing expertise of the craftsmen in the 19th century. There is an elevator in the middle of the entrance hall, going up to the reconstructed historical garden, also accessible from the raised southern end of the hall, through the Elisabeth Stairs. New spaces with a particular atmosphere have been created under the stepped ramps, behind the brick walls. The divisible event hall for 900 to 1200 people is an “acoustic box”, independent from its environment, with mobile stands and programmable pixel screens on the lateral walls. A multi-story car park with a pedestrian exit to Ybl Square has been built to the north from the parking garage under the event hall – as far as Dry Ditch. The geometrical garden is the reconstruction of the garden in Ybl’s period and its upper walkway connects it to the southern landscape garden. The Foundry Court has been given a contemporary image, closed towards the hill by a café pavilion. The Royal Guard Palace with its compatible function offers a space for young people. The residential buildings at the two ends of the complex function as exhibition halls and the connected rows of bazaars accommodate eating and drinking places. The pedestrian axis ascending Castle Hill is running between the reconstructed Neo-Renaissance garden and the Foundry Court along the southern curtain wall, leading from the Staircase Pavilion on Ybl Miklós Square to the enclosed courtyards around the royal palace and to the higher parts of palace above. A hidden route of ascent is running behind the Staircase Pavilion through the Water-Carrier Corridor. An escalator goes up from the top of the Water-Carrier Corridor to the express lift, which goes up to the top of the southern curtain wall on the palace level. The terrace of the Middle Garden between the walls is accessible from the Foundry Court through steps along the top of the southern curtain wall. The new staircase and elevator towers, as well as the canopy above the ramparts of the Water-Carrier Corridor are characterized by minimal art, using contemporary materials. The canopy structure and the cladding of the elevator towers are made of Corten steel. The architectural forms – due to the illumination at night – appear as semantic signs in the cityscape.