City guide

Budapest’s newest sports complex is finally complete – Tüskecsarnok

Photo : Balkányi László - WLB
Púder Bárszínház és Galéria, leves

Good work takes time, but 20 years seem like a bit of a stretch. It is not worth dealing with the details of the story, what’s important is that the construction of Tüskecsarnok is finally complete. From now on, the modern and beautiful complex will serve as a venue suitable for both cultural and sporting events. What’s best is it’s right near the university quarter, offering new options for students to play a huge range of sports.

Tüskecsarnok
  • 1117 Budapest, Magyar tudósok körútja
After 20 years of goofing around, the decision was made in 2012 to complete the construction of Tüskecsarnok. The tender for the hall’s design was won by the design office, A&D Studio, led by Ernő Rubik, back in 1993, and the hall that was completed recently reflects the ideas of architects Antal Lázár and Péter Magyar. Our most positive overall impression is that the building does not show the time elapsed between design and realisation. It does not bear any misinterpreted postmodern, provincial stylistic features, that are common on many other “masterpieces” built in the 90s in Budapest.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
Tüskecsarnok (“Spike Hall” in English) got its name from its characteristic, pyramid-like, 6 meter tall roof windows. This unique solution makes the arena very bright and light-filled, so during the day artificial lighting is completely unnecessary. At night, the lighting concealed within these “spikes” create an unusual sight after dark. With this solution, the creators have created an “inside out” illuminator.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
4000 people can fit in the arena, and thanks to the steep incline of the grandstands, the court is easy to see even from the upper rows. Space for commentators are above the auditorium, in two glass boxes.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
There is space for about twenty sports including handball, hockey and basketball. The main hall is complemented by several smaller spaces, which means that four smaller and one bigger gym, two professional squash courts, a fitness room, hot tubs and saunas. These are complemented by several dressing rooms, including some with disabled access. The courts and open training sessions are open for students with various discounts. The facility’s two-story parking garage offers plenty of parking spots.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
The massive building is perfectly suited for cultural events and theatrical productions and it’s expected to be highly utilised. Tüskecsarnok is likely to help Budapest secure more international sport events for the capital, which is a benefit for Hungary.
Photo: László Balkányi / WLB
The complex has already sprung into life, and it’s important to mention that, in addition to professional athletes, the sports arena and soon-to-be-built swimming pool welcomes recreational athletes, which is really good news for the students of nearby universities.