In the two centuries since the foundation of the Hungarian National Museum in 1802 the museums have become the top institutions of Hungarian cultural life.
In recent decades, however, the visitor has become more and more important in the museum world and through this the knowledge-transferring, informative role of the museums has come to the fore. Today a well-run museum presents many faces. Besides maintaining its scientific integrity, candour and depth, it gives over in full and enriches the collection entrusted to it but in the meantime is also open to the changes in the world, reacts flexibly to the requirements of its visitors and initiates cooperation with other institutions, social groups and business partners when thinking responsibly about its own future. The Liget Budapest project will create the first truly 21st century museums of Hungary in Budapest with a pioneering role in Hungarian cultural policy.
The majority of the museum institutions participating in the Liget Budapest project have serious infrastructural problems today. The project’s purpose is to solve these problems in such a way that Hungary would be able to provide an exemplary environment for the artefacts and collections of significant importance, for the experts who take care of them and for interested visitors. The creation of infrastructure ensuring to the maximum the handling and protection of the museum collections, the establishing of flexible conditions for professional research and display according to the worthy and changing expectations, as well as functional design meeting the requirements and special needs of the visitors are equally important requirements of the project.
Liget Budapest will be the number one cultural and tourist attraction of Budapest in the 21st century. This attraction is due to its unique complexity. The wide range of institutions operating here ranges from transport through fine art to ethnography providing wide scope, long-term cultural experiences for visitors. The Zoo and the Széchenyi Bath provide high quality leisure activities for all age groups – while children are welcome by the Children and Youth Knowledge and Adventure Centre specifically designed for them. With the improvement of the current restaurant supply of the City Park the site can become a target of gastro tourism. The renewed greenery will provides a true experience not only as a public park of Budapest rich in outstanding historical and artistic memories, but as the venue for active recreation for those living nearby or visiting here.
Today most of the Hungarian museums are operating in buildings that do not meet the contemporary energetic requirements, they can typically be found in several locations and the organization of their activities is inefficient for reasons beyond their control. The clear purpose of the Liget Budapest project is to provide an exemplary solution for these organizational and economic problems. The National Restoration and Storage Centre of Museums to be established on a nearby site outside the borders of the City Park on land earmarked for rehabilitation will provide professionally better, safer and a more economical solution for the management of the artwork collections. The use of sustainable energy sources, the development of a common energetic supply built of geo-thermal energy with outstanding potential will be given priority importance in the construction of the new museum buildings in the City Park.
The City Park, the oldest public park in Budapest now shows signs of negligence. Most of the visitors who come to the park are dissatisfied with the services, with the everyday maintenance, with the quality of green areas; most of them think that a complete or partial rehabilitation is needed. The majority of residential quarters surrounding the City Park are of high prestige yet very run down areas, partly densely built-up and with more and more popular emerging residential zones. The development of the City Park based on cultural activities is a long-term target that may attract significant private capital in the nearby areas and could serve as a model for the future urban development of Hungary.
Sustainable architectural design means an exact system of rules that have now been developed, which, however, always gives way to site-specific innovation. The detailed sustainability requirements are contained in section 4.
The investment will be financed by the Hungarian Government under the management of the 100% state-owned Városliget Zrt. founded by the government. Pursuant to Act CCXLII of 2013 the whole area of the City Park will be included under the management of Városliget Zrt. for 99 years, and the buildings built here will become the property of the Hungarian State.