Pest transport hub Blaha Lujza tér is to undergo a major makeover in 2021-2022. The new square will feature more trees and green space, the mushroom-shaped fountain that has been a part of the site since the 1960s will be renovated, and a new cultural venue will be established. Pedestrian areas will become completely accessible for all, with a renovated underpass, and part of the traffic around it will be redirected.
As previously reported, planning procedures for the redesign and reconstruction of Blaha Lujza tér began last month. New details have recently emerged about the specific changes to be expected at this major crossing point, now being renovated after 55 years thanks to investment from the City of Budapest and technical support from adjoining Districts VII and VIII.
Construction begins this year, and is expected to last for 18 months. The renovation of the underpass paving and the reconstruction of Somogyi Béla utca are also integral to the makeover.
Increased green space, a new water feature and a venue for cultural events are all within the new remit. Accessibility should improve with new pedestrian crossings to aid navigation. The underpass will gain a new, sophisticated look, befitting any modern urban crossing point. Traffic will be redirected slightly – drivers will be able to make a right turn from Rákóczi út onto József körút, for example.
‘Blaha’, as everyone refers to it, was once the site of the National Theatre – its memorial stone which will also be renewed. Arguably the square’s most iconic feature, the mushroom-shaped fountain in place here since the 1960s, will also get a revamp. In addition, there will be scores of new trees planted, creating a green space of over 1,000 square feet.
· Two MOL Bubi bike stations
· More bicycle stands and waste bins
· Corvin department store to be renovated with private investment, while state support will fund the makeover of its façade
· New public toilets
· Drivers can make a right turn from Rákóczi út onto József körút, while Márkus Emília utca will become two-way. Somogyi Béla utca will be one-way from Gutenberg tér to Stáhly utca.
The billion-forint investment from the government can only be used until the end of this year, which means that we’ll most likely see partial handovers in December 2021.