The Municipality of Budapest has announced an open international contest for a new £20 million velodrome overlooking historic Óbuda Island
The competition seeks conceptual proposals to transform a disused former gas works into a new 5,000-capacity cycling stadium, national training facility and internationally recognised centre for excellence.
The project is part of a large-scale programme of investment by the Hungarian government in transforming ageing and disused areas of the capital city into state-of-the-art hubs for athletics following the country’s medal haul in last year’s summer Olympics.
According to the brief: ‘Hosting track cycling competitions in accordance with current international sporting federation standards requires a new closed velodrome construction, which can also become a training hub.
‘Medium and long-term development plans are to reclaim many existing industrial sites, enriching the entire city with new sporting facilities.’
The new venue will be erected on the site of the former Óbuda gasworks which occupies a prominent plot on the Pest side of the Hungarian capital overlooking Óbuda Island and the River Danube. The landmark facility was founded in 1856 and grew to become one of the most advanced gasworks in the world before closing in 1984.
Since closure parts of the site have been transformed into a business park with many listed buildings retained. The complex is a short distance from the Aquincum Museum which features the excavated ruins of this Roman capital city of the Pannonia province where emperor Marcus Aurelius is said to have written some of his book, ‘Meditations’.
Contest site: Óbuda gasworks
A £1.3 billion programme to redevelop the 108 hectare Óbuda island with new hotels, sports facilities and casinos was abandoned following the 2008 financial crash. Since then the islet, which hosts the annual Sziget music festival, has been earmarked for new cultural and sports facilities. A contest for a landmark £13,000 pavilion for the festival was launched earlier this year.
In February Budapest announced it was abandoning its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics after Rome and Hamburg also withdrew from the race. Only Paris and Los Angeles remain in the contest and a winner is expected to be announced in September.
Submissions for the new velodrome must consider access and integration with the city’s transport network, orientation and presentation in respect to the site’s existing buildings, materials and the costs of construction, planning compliance and sustainability.
The competition language is in Hungarian and a £54,000 prize fund will be shared between the winners, set to be announced on 23 June.
The deadline for submissions to be sent by post is at 23:59 on 30 May. All submissions must be received by 12:00 on 5 June.
How to apply
Benczúr & Partner Építész Kft.
Szilágyi Erzsébet fasor 24.