“Working in one of the first public parks in the world is immensely inspiring. Designing the building was an especially exciting task because it is not just a building that we created here: we integrated the experience of the park into the project. The Liget Budapest Project, and within that the House of Music Hungary is an emblematic development project which we hope will serve as an example for the urban developers of the future since it seeks to realise harmony between the green and the built-up environment.” Sou Fujimoto
So what imbues Fujimoto’s vision with magic? It is primarily the designer’s objective to erase the boundaries between nature and the built-up environment and to give visitors the feeling upon entering the building that they are still strolling about in the park. To achieve this illusion, a monumental ‘glass curtain’ embraces the building instead of brick walls, lending it complete transparency and airiness.
Unrivalled in Europe, the façade was fitted together from 94 glass panels reaching almost 12 metres in height in some parts. Each panel was individually manufactured and assembled with minute precision. The feeling of being in nature is further enhanced by the over one thousand decorative plates modelling tree leaves set in the suspended ceiling, the surface of which constantly reacts to the changes in light conditions. The canopy of golden stylised leaves is secured in place by a steel structure made out of six thousand honeycomb-shaped elements.
The unconventional appearance is matched by a similarly innovative internal structure. The building’s tripartite organisation is also reflected by the complex range of musical performances and events hosted by the House of Music Hungary. The spaces below the ground level are designed for exhibitions, where the floor space of 2,500 square metres provides a venue for the permanent and temporary shows as well as for the unique sound dome. This level, intentionally closed off from natural light resembles a dream world-like space of experiences. Progressing upwards, visitors are led to the park level to enjoy the performing arts; here nature and music become interwoven thanks to the glass-walled concert hall and the open-air stages in the vicinity of the Városliget Lake. The top level of the building provides well-separated spaces for quiet study and education.
During the design and implementation of the House of Music Hungary special care was also given to using sustainable and climate-friendly solutions to satisfy one of the greatest challenges of our times. This is precisely why most of the building’s energy supply comes from renewable energy sources, with 120 heat pumps placed 100 metres deep underground to provide geothermal energy. Another economical and wonderfully innovative solution is long distance cooling, which in summer is generated by the excess capacity of the nearby Ice Rink. Both the construction work and the building site have scored an “exemplary” rating in terms of the BREEAM environmental awareness assessment.