City guide

Margaret Island is an outdoor showroom for avant-garde fixtures

Photo : Tamás Kőrösi/We Love Budapest
Blue Bird Café - Gozsdu, asztal, kávézó

Following an innovative trend that is growing around the world, the concept of “idea tenders” is gaining popularity at an ever-increasing number of metropolitan companies, institutions, and local governments. The results of these tenders are not necessarily incorporated into practice exactly as they are proposed by their creators, but many aspects of these ideas might be included in renovation plans. Such is the case with Budapest’s design competition “Bútorozd be a városod!” (“Furnish your city!”), and right now we can check out top entries on Margaret Island, at the Alfréd Hajós Promenade.

More than 300 entries were submitted to this design competition after it was made public at the beginning of this year, with entries submitted by students from grade school through university, and by professionals as well. After the results were announced, the winners received technical assistance on how to transform their dream designs into reality, followed by the manufacturing of prototypes – and now these full-scale models are on display on Margaret Island for the testing phase, lasting until September.
Photo: Tamás Kőrösi/We Love Budapest
In addition to the jury, Budapest residents can also express their thoughts about the ten selected entries on the Én Városom page, so that the groups involved with this project – Design Terminál, Főkert, Fővárosi Közterület-fenntartó, and Hello Wood – can involve public opinion in shaping the image of Budapest, as well.
Photo: Tamás Kőrösi/We Love Budapest
It is not possible to present all entries and prizewinning works here, but we think that the entry named “RÖNK+” by Zoltán Tibor Dányi (pictured below) definitely deserves to win. The work is urban and rustic at the same time, and its use of materials provides an opportunity for using the wood that grows naturally in parks.
Photo: Tamás Kőrösi/We Love Budapest
We also really liked the work of Adél Sághegyi, which won second place in the undergraduate category, comprised of small wooden “boxes” that are separated and open at the same time. Their advantage is a disadvantage, too: the exciting form of the work is not suitable for all public spaces, but we can imagine its form adding statuesque appeal to less developed parks, where the boxes can be suitable for reading, cooling off in the shade, or chatting with friends.
Photo: Tamás Kőrösi/We Love Budapest
Finally, we cannot leave out a certain comment. Quite often we’ve seen a newly renovated park or public space be adorned with nice new fixtures, only to be neglected and appear worn out in just a few months – while this is a somewhat natural process, taking care of these ceremoniously handed-over spaces should be a priority for city officials. This way, we could have beautiful old benches and exciting new furniture coexist in visual harmony, both being well maintained and making the city not only more colorful, but more liveable, as well.