HUNGARIAN MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT
Location: Budapest, Hungary
The new Hungarian Museum of Transport is an iconic form that derives from two central design ideas. The first idea is to embrace Budapest’s active public transportation system by directly linking the new suburban rail station with the existing surface transport system through the new museum. This means siting the new museum between the suburban rail station and the existing archive building. The second is to create a path through the new building that connects commuters to the city’s tram line. This creates two pedestrian routes: one that allows commuters to pass through the building without entering the exhibits, and a second route for visitors to the museum. These circulation systems are formally realized with an iconic loop building. The loop operates at many levels. It meets the suburban station at nine meters above grade, passes over the nostalgia train tracks – incorporating the operating train as an exhibit – and then engages workshop building, which becomes both the museum’s formal entrance and an active public space at street level.
Visitors can enter the museum from the garden forecourt to the south or from an underground parking area to the north. Both entries lead to a ticketing lobby, where visitors can either board the nostalgia train or enter the museum’s galleries or the archive. Using a grand stair or elevators, visitors arrive at the first of three floors of exhibitions, which at the east end of the loop are visible as a series of terraced levels. On the second level, the loop connects to the west galleries, where the exhibition spaces are connected by ramps. Visitors can also look into the center of the loop, an open space in which the real-time movements of the pedestrian commuters and the nostalgia train are also on display, just beyond the encircling window wall.
When the museum is closed, commuters can move from the tram to the suburban line by entering former workshop building to access the circulation route to the train station. Alternatively, they can stop at the new restaurant in the workshop building, which will animate street life. This important urban site and its many historic buildings are revived by the new loop building, which brings the past into the present with its 21st-century iconic image.