Nowadays the importance of museums is also measured by their ability to regenerate urban centers. Architects are commissioned to create iconic objects with generic interiors, that become symbols of the cities they are built in. Contemporary museum buildings are places where commerce and culture are blurred. The artwork’s environment is saturated by neutral interiors. The victim of this development is the art piece itself and the spectator.

This project is based on a recent competition for a new art museum in Budapest. Chosen design brief gave me a realistic framework to proof my design. “Art in context” describes the optimal spatial conditions to house and truly experience the art collection that is diverse, both in time frame and type. Fundamental to this approach is my deep conviction that art is inseparable from its context - the set of conditions originally meant for it. There are known historic and physical conditions around the art work. Many artists left instructions on how to experience and exhibit their work. In earlier centuries art was highly symbolic and strongly integrated with the complex architecture. Space and art corresponded with each other.

The research, starting from the art, led me to generate design instruments like poche walls, vaulted ceilings, visual axis and other. Working intuitively in plaster I cast them as massive yet hallowed spaces. The created library of diverse typologies formed a united body of architecture. Matrix of spaces is organized horizontally in a gradient of diminishing mass. 

The array of spatial conditions determined the placement of the exhibits and programs. This project has no corridors and no facades in a traditional manner. The sculptural quality of the facade is a result of sectioning museum’s interiors. Such section, closed off with glass, becomes an urban vitrine.

The matrix of spaces creates number of possible sequences. The idea of specificity has been central in my design. The innovation of this proposal lies in the combination of specificity in room typology and grid layout. It allows flexibility of configuration and different relations between spaces and objects. Spaces generate meaning which can be treated as variable context for art. My proposal shows a method that allows the museum to remain an relevant cultural enhancer in the rapidly changing future for demanding receivers.

Art in context

Year: 2015

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Type: Graduation project,
winner Archiprix 2015