In the heart of downtown Budapest, Hungary’s ever-creative Hello Wood organization built a pop-up park of oversized wave-like wooden benches, creating not only a shady place to rest but also installing free solar-powered charging stations for those with dying batteries. The installation will remain at Városháza Park all summer.
Városháza Park, located next to Deák Ferenc Square in the center of downtown Pest, usually fills up with people during seasonal markets and mini festivals from autumn through springtime – however, due to its lack of shade, this open space isn’t much of a popular meeting spot during the summer.
In addition to holding creative camps for young architects each summer since 2010, Hello Wood – an independent, international educational platform in design and architecture – also develops various urban projects in a collaborative process. This summer, this project is a pop-up park in the city center, allowing both locals and tourists to recharge along with their smartphones. The large, wave-like wooden installations not only serve as seats or beds, but also provide free electricity: the space next to the installation, named Hullámvonal (“Wave Line”), is covered with Hungarian-developed solar floor tiles that supply 14 USB ports with power, which operate as free battery-charging stations. These can prove to be lifesaving for tourists with dying cellphone batteries, or adventurous spirits who’d prefer working on their laptop under the open sky.
While our devices are charging, we can spend time with some physical activity, like table tennis or the Hungarian-developed teqball. Two drinking fountains ensure refreshment after a heated match. In order to make the installation less homogenous, oleanders were planted in-between the wooden benches.
The contemporary park has some shading, as well, because this area can become particularly sunny during the day. The project of the Budapesti Városarculati Nonprofit Kft. and Hello Wood might develop further or expand during the summer, as well, in accordance with how people use the installation.