International architecture practice Grimshaw, has been awarded first place in the competition for the renewal of Budapest Nyugati railway station. The winning design, in collaboration with Nautes Architects, WSP, Vogt and Turner & Townsend, was selected, as part of an anonymous competition, from a shortlist of 12 internationally recognised teams.
Guided by the principles of the competition ― to increase the capacity of the existing station, preserve the heritage of the Eiffel Hall, and connect the station to the city by injecting a ‘new lease of life’ to the surrounding area ― the winning concept design creates a permeable station ‘campus’. A series of car-free streets, walkways, squares and a public park opens up the station complex to the city and draws passengers and public to this ‘new’ city quarter: restoring its local and international significance situated in one of the most vibrant and historic cities in Europe.
With the area severed by the railway corridor since the late 19th century, the concept masterplan integrates new pedestrian routes across the site and the underground station. A new boulevard connects Lehel Tér in the west to Kodály Körönd to the east, rising above the railway via a new bridge, and the existing Ferdinand Bridge is rebuilt and realigned. Running north from Nyugati Tér, another pedestrian route connects to the proposed conference centre. And east and west of the site further networks are created by a new link bridge spanning centrally over the surface station.
These routes connect people, through public spaces, to existing and identified opportunity sites around the station: to the north-east, a new residential area on Podmaniczky Utca is proposed while to the north-west, routes connect people to the proposed conference and new residential and retail destination.
“Central to our design concept is guardianship of heritage, adaptive reuse and humanising of the passenger journey. The approach developed through a collaboration of our London and Sydney studios and with local and international consultants, is one which protects and preserves the heritage of Nyugati Station and places its 21st century life firmly in the aesthetic of a civic space. Travel for passengers will no doubt be enhanced, but in parallel a new, revived destination for this beautiful, historic city will be created. We are incredibly honoured to be selected as the winners of the competition and look forward to working with the Budapest Development Agency to deliver the design and construction of the station in the coming years.” Mark Middleton, Partner at Grimshaw