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See the many new looks for Budapest’s new Transport Museum


  • Bartha Dorka

14/08/2019 11.43am

How will Budapest’s new Transport Museum look? That’s a question we are slightly clearer about since the winning design was chosen. Many architects of global renown also applied for this huge project, to be set up at a vast former vehicle repair works. Now the little-known Foundry Museum has gathered the most ambitious designs as part of an exhibition.

Moving from its original site in the City Park to the former MÁV North Vehicle Repair Works in Kőbánya, the Transport Museum is undergoing a complete transformation.

Photo: Transport Museum

A tender was put out to find the right designer who could meet the considerable challenges posed by this site-specific attraction. Not only will the huge industrial hall be converted for a completely different function but the special features of such a museum – the display of 619 large vehicles, to be precise – are particularly unusual. Also to be figured out are how the art store, specialist library, documentation centre and technical database would form part of this museum.

Photo: Transport Museum

Among the top-notch architectural firms looking to rise to this design challenge were Foster & Partners and the Bjarke Ingels Group, who designed the Danish pavilion at the 2010 World Expo. In the end, Diller Scofidio + Renfro won the day but so far, we have only learned about the visuals and ideas of the winning agency.

Photo: Transport Museum

This current exhibition, therefore, open until mid September at the Ábrahám Ganz Foundry Museum, will reveal the detailed plans by other firms – five of which were also recommended and/or purchased. On display are not only the visual designs, with the jury’s comments, but also a summary of the industrial heritage of the facility, alongside that of the museum, now more than a hundred years old. Documentation is English-friendly.

Photo: Transport Museum

Walking through this exciting, labyrinthine installation designed by Budapest-based studio Ariadne Paradigma allows you to focus on the detail right on front of you. At the exhibition opening, museum director Dávid Vitézy was keen to suggest that next summer there may be a pop-up exhibition about this major cultural destination – only this time, in the very building where the new facility is being built.

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