MUPA PALACE OF THE ARTS
Size: 70,000 m²
Client: Trigránit Fejlesztési Zrt., the Hungarian government
Design team: Gábor Zoboki DLA habil., Nóra Demeter DLA, Zoltán Turi, Csaba Silvester, János Erőss ✟, Gábor Szatmári, Richárd Borzák, Imre Császár, Móni Simon, Csaba Valkai, Gyula V. Szabó, Péter Bordás
The Palace of the Arts is one of Hungary’s most significant cultural and architectural developments of the last 100 years. The building, which provides a venue for the rich and significant cultural traditions of performing and visual arts in Central Europe and occupies 70,000 m², comprises three entities: the Ludwig Museum, the 1800-seat Béla Bartók Concert Hall and the
450-seat Festival Theatre. This was Hungary’s first large-scale PPP (Private Public Partnership) project and the design process required a collaboration between private developer Trigranit Rt. and the Hungarian government. The goal was to deliver a state-of-the-art facility which offers a wide range of diverse cultural events. The planning and building phase lasted for five years altogether and required coordinating a team of over 120 designers and engineers, located in Hungary, Austria and the United States.
As the architects of such a complex design process, we had to navigate between the often contradicting interests of our clients. The commercial bias of the developer often countered the cultural strategies of the government. The design process went through countless changes, so we had to be flexible. Designing the Palace of Arts was a great professional challenge because we had to deliver three complex buildings within an architecturally coherent framework.
The Palace of Arts won the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence in 2006 – often referred to as "the Oscars of architecture and real estate development" – in the "specialised" category for buildings.