What could be the urbanistic effects of the proposed Museum Quarter in Budapest’s 56-ers’ Square

Samu Szemerey
Architect, responsible editor of Építészfórum (Architects’ Forum)

Undoubtedly, the square is an urban planning playground of Hungarian politics. The construction, demolition, relocation, renaming and description are well known. The truncated development of the neighbouring areas, the silent decay of the City Park and the all-dominating technocratic development of public transport can hardly been seen from the ritual political spaces of the square. The most important question is whether the new museums can step beyond the framework of politics.

Dániel Kovács
Art historian, editor-in-chief of hg.hu

One potential function of the area is to remember the past with a historical park relating to the former use of the space, so as to demonstrate the events of Hungary’s past linked to here. A more suitable location could hardly be found in Budapest. Hopefully the list of institutes coming here will not be determined by current political relations, ill-considered measures, pressures and the background struggles of museums. One of the main attractions of the new ‘museum quarter’ would be its outstanding architectural quality, ensured by means of an international tender.

Gábor Petrovszky
Economist, vice-president of the Hungarian Real Estate Association

Logically there’s no doubt – the location is perfect for the museum quarter. Naturally, the development would require a lot of energy to create an easily found and easily reached zone. Architecturally, however, the task simultaneously represents a challenge and an opportunity. Such a striking development would be capable of creating a new, upgraded space, or a new district from an old, not very exciting location, producing new messages.

József Takáts
Literary historian,  Janus Pannonius University

If the museum quarter is realised it will strengthen the preponderance (culturally and in terms of tourism) of the capital with respect to the country’s medium-size towns. This more or less one-year conception probably doesn’t fit within a conscious, national cultural policy, but rather continues the spontaneously centralising cultural politics of the past two decades. Expanding the City Park museum ensemble in 56-ers’ Square would in any case resolve a significant urbanistic problem.