National University of Public Service Sports Centre

Architect: SKARDELLI György

The Sports Centre is a worthy neighbour of the Neoclassical Ludovika building, with its compact and logical plan, surrounded by green areas. The opening in the solid block is a public forum area and it has become the new, east entrance of Orczy Park.

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The Ludovika Campus project, new location of the National University of Public Service, has revived the neighbouring, historic district. It was exciting to pair the new with the old so, that the result would be worthy of the architectural and spiritual heritage of the 140 year old institution. The Sports Centre, the adjacent shooting range building and the open air sports courts have been built within the new Campus. Behind the shooting range, there is a strictly regulated obstacle course. Next to it, towards the park, there is a sports area with a running course, basketball courts, tennis courts and a small field football pitch. The existing building has been converted into a Student Centre.

The sports centre has a clear arrangement of spaces with a double function: it is a sports hall and a swimming pool at the same time. It was important to provide for a wide range of use in the building, so all kinds of indoor sports can be played in the hall. There are a 25 m pool and a practice pool in the swimming pool area. These two parts, the dry and the wet functions, have been incorporated into one building so, that a single, large rectangular block appears on the eastern edge of Orczy Park. The block is opened up by an outdoor space, the Forum, dividing and, at the same time, connecting the sports hall and the swimming pool. This opening forms a huge portal, the east entrance of the campus from Diószeghy út. The Forum is an interesting space with different entrances to the sports hall and the swimming pool. There is a terrace for the caffeteria, there are some shops and a ticket office as well. This covered, outdoor area is a symbolic and also the real entrance of Orczy Park, those who walk along Diószeghy út, get a glimpse of the park through the 20 m wide, 5 m high opening, framed by the building. The design of the building has been fundamentally influenced by its environment, the cool, severe dignity of the old Ludovika building and the lush vegetation of Orczy Park. The abstract, vegetal ornamentation in front of the glass surface of the rigid, rectangular block is a kind of reference to the plants in the park, while the big trees are really reflected on it during the daytime and cast dark shadows on the illuminated block at night.

Few people know that a greenhouse stood in place of the Sports Centre in the 19th century and this inspired the the glass block concept of the building. The computer simulation of fire protection made calculations easier and resulted in optimal and more economic solutions, so it has been regularly used in similar projects since then. The green facade of the building, the sight of the plants climbing on the steel supports, changing their look in each season, creates a direct, strong, natural connection with Orczy Park.

Location: Budapest VIII. Diószeghy Sámuel utca
Date of completion: 2018
Architect: SKARDELLI György
Area: 17 600 m2