The new cultural venue, set in the Hungarian capital’s City Park, is dedicated to the experience of music – and has a striking punctured roof
The House of Music, Hungary – a new large-scale cultural venue designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects – has opened in Budapest. Set within the City Park, surrounded by trees, the building is immediately remarkable for its circular and undulating canopy roof, punctured with almost 100 openings through which the park’s trees can grow and light can permeate the interior.
The 9,000 sq m building houses a range of concert spaces, a unique sound dome, as well as exhibition and educational spaces, all dedicated to the celebration and experience of music and music-making. ‘Music making is at the heart of human experience,’ says András Batta, managing director of the House of Music, Hungary. ‘The House is a one-of-a-kind institution created to introduce the beauty of sound and music, alongside the important role it plays in every aspect of our life.’
The House’s facade comprises a curtain of glass, designed to support permeability and blur boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. The undulating roof, meanwhile, is inspired by the varying form of sound waves – reflecting the building’s function – while also respecting its context by remaining below the canopy line of the trees in the park.
On the underside of the roof, a steel structure made out of 1,000 honeycomb-shaped elements resembles the dappled light of a forest canopy. ‘We were enchanted by the multitude of trees in the City Park and inspired by the space created by them,’ says Fujimoto. ‘Whilst the thick and rich canopy covers and protects its surroundings, it also allows the sun’s rays to reach the ground. I envisaged the open floor plan, where boundaries between inside and outside blur, as a continuation of the natural environment.’
The layout of the House is set across three levels: the subterranean level provides space for permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as the sound dome; the ground floor, opening into the park, hosts a glass-walled concert hall, smaller concert/workshop hall, and open-air stage; the top level, meanwhile, is dedicated to educational spaces. The open-air stage, located by the building’s entrance, sheltered by the canopy roof above and becoming an extension of the park itself, will host daytime and evening concert events.
The building is equipped with an innovative heating and cooling system, comprising mainly geothermal energy and other renewable sources to cover its energy requirements.
The House of Music has been built as part of the Liget Budapest Project, a large-scale cultural development of Budapest’s City Park which sees the the creation and renovation of several cultural institutions, while establishing new leisure facilities.
Photography courtesy of Liget Budapest and Palkó György
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