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Budapest relaunches ethnography museum contest

Liget Budapest
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A second international competition has been launched for a new Museum of Ethnography in Budapest

The contest – organised as part of the £190 million ‘Liget Budapest’ project – comes a year after French outfit Vallet de Martinis DIID Architects won an initial competition for the scheme.

According to the organisers, the relaunch follows a government decision to relocate the building which ‘necessitated the announcement of a new competitive tender.’

Liget Budapest

Liget Budapest

Vallet de Martinis DIID’s winning scheme in an earlier contest for the Budapest Museum of Ethnography

The Museum of Ethnography is one of several new institutions planned for the city’s early nineteenth century park.

Competition-winning proposals for a New National Gallery by SANAA and House of Hungarian Music by Sou Fujimoto are currently advancing.

OMA, Herzog & de Meuron and Sauerbruch Hutton are among 15 architects invited to participate in a restricted tender for the latest high-profile commission.

An open call has meanwhile been launched to identify two further teams who will also be invited to compete for the ethnography museum.

The full longlist

  • Herzog & de Meuron
  • BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Bernard Tschumi Architects
  • Dominique Perrault Architecture
  • Sauerbruch Hutton
  • Coop Himmelb(l)au Architects
  • Emre Arolat Architects
  • OMA
  • Közti Zrt.
  • Balázs Mihály and the BUTE Faculty of Architecture
  • Napur Architect
  • Bánáti + Hartvig Architects

According to the brief: ‘Thanks to the architectural competition, the Museum of Ethnography, which is currently operating in the former Ministry of Justice building, inadequate both in its size and function for a museum, will finally be given a worthy home.

‘The Museum of Ethnography, established in 1872, is the number one Hungarian institution of ethnographic science, European ethnology and cultural anthropology, as well as the country’s leading museum science workshop, now housed in a building originally not planned for a museum, and therefore unsuitable for exhibiting the collection.

‘Moving the institution into a state-of-the-art building will provide the opportunity to display a significant part of the artefacts, thus far ‘locked away’ from the general public, in a permanent exhibition, under modern circumstances, finally bringing the museum “back home” to the City Park in a new museum building.’

Teams selected to compete in the competition’s second stage will be announced later this month.

Judges will include Liget Budapest’s governmental commissioner László Baán, Fujimoto and FT architecture critic Edwin Heathcote.

The overall winner – set to be announced on 17 May – will receive an estimated £37,000 top prize.

A second place prize of around £22,000 and third place prize worth approximately £15,000 will also be awarded.

The deadline for pre-qualification applications is 15 January.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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