Norwegian firm Snøhetta and Japanese studio SANAA recently won the competition to design the New National Gallery and Ludwig Museum in Budapest - one of the largest museum developments in Europe. Both firms, each with their own proposal, were named winners, even though only one design will eventually be built.
Snøhetta’s proposal unites the gallery and museum under one cascading roof that also functions as a public terrace. The design, reminiscent of the firm’s project for the Oslo Opera House, has two dominant sloping roof surfaces that integrate the complex with the surrounding landscape and form a distinctive silhouette.
SANAA, on the other hand, envisioned a building whose roof is comprised of several overlapping curved planes. According to the architects’ statement, these will also aim to function as an extension of the park, with the museum “fluctuating with seasonal shifts.”
The competition was the second attempt to find a suitable design for the location. The first time around, none of the 80 entries were deemed suitable. Among shortlisted projects in the new competition were proposals by David Chipperfield, Henning Larsen Architects, Mecanoo and Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos.
A jury of 11, which included commissioner László Baán, architect Eva Jiřičná and critic Edwin Heathcote, will choose the winner after they meet with both teams. The new building will become part of a larger development, which will include the Museum of Ethnography by French studio Vallet de Martinis DIID Architectes, and new homes for the Hungarian Museum of Photography and the Hungarian Museum of Architecture designed by Hungarian firm KÖZTI Architects & Engineers.