peter pozar architect

millennium park

2001 is a Millennium (millennial year) for Hungary. The foundation of the state occurred 1000 years ago, when St Steven, our first Christian king, was crowned. The biggest millenary investment this year is the rehabilitation of the Ganz industrial area, on which a cultural Centrex will be placed with three exhibition buildings, an indoor and outdoor theatre, all situated in the millennium park.

The concept of the park can be put in one word: creating. We thought that the most positive message of an anniversary in 2001, which meant to celebrate the 1000 year old existence of a country and nation, would be "creating".Creating an invention, something new, the harmony in your life-or a park.

The space is designed upon the temporal structure in the process of creation. In this sense we divided the park into two parts.The first part stands for motivation and the second is for creation, in the interactive side of the park. In the motivational part of the park you find yourself surrounded by the normal urban and natural environment, but in a totally unusual form. You see a lake spotted by trees that seem to grow out of the water; you see hill-lines divided by a glass corridor that passes a grain field with cut shrubs forming grain bales. The aim of receiving these rather millennial ld around you, is by descending it into elements. If you deprive these elements from their original environmental context and put them into a different surrounding, you are able to examine them freely and they become a mobile information for creation.

Leaving the motivational part you reach the interactive space, the playground of creativity. Here you can find all the environmental elements You met on your way, put into mobile form. The concept is realized in two levels. On one hand the visitors should leave the park with such a strong visual experience that encourages to make their own surrounding more suitable for living.On the other hand there is an actual part of the space, where the visitors could create their own park.

Rehabilitation of:

Until the beginning of the 20th century the factory was situated in the suburb of the city. Its surroundings were mostly vineyards and forests, which evolved to form a densely built up residential district over the years. With the expansion of the city the area of the factory has become an integral part of the city. Because of this situation it was inevitable for the factory to be moved, placing it once again in the suburbs of Budapest, leaving behind an area whose rehabilitation has become urgent.

The establishment of the park plays an important role in the fresh air suppliant of this part of the city (most fresh air comes from the surrounding hills of Buda), since it lies at a point where the air channel is obstructed by a densely built up district. The demolition of almost 70% of the factory's relatively high buildings is the first step in the recovery of the air channel.

On the whole Buda is richer in green areas than Pest. Due to this there are less public parks in this part of the city. This also means that the surrounding forests are used more frequently than should be, since these take over the role of the parks, although in function they do not meet the demands of a public park.

In densely built up districts of Buda the quantity of public spaces per person doesn't reach the required average of 21 m2/person, so an increase in the number of parks is essential in these areas, especially when we take into consideration that these places are also the most polluted parts of Buda.

Conditions of Rehabilitation

The essential conditions of the former industrial area's rehabilitation are:

  • the demolitions (Nearly 70% of the buildings have been demolished. The only buildings left are the ones that are industrial monuments)
  • exchange of soil up to 1m of depth
  • the managing of industrial waste and contamination

Contamination Management

The oil-contaminated soil and groundwater is re mediated by using a drainage system. The percolating rainwater is collected in drainage pipes, which is extracted with the groundwater, while lean water is recharged in it's place. Within half a year all contamination is expected to be removed and the system can be uninstalled.

Indirect Space

The park can be thought of as one large contiguous space.

There are no formal elements forming borderlines that break the continuity of the different spaces. It is not function, but notion that defines spaces in the park, and is a projection of the process of creating.

This can be interpreted on several levels throughout the park. The different levels are determined by their degree of abstraction.

  • The contiguity of spaces has an underlying potential of meaning which reflects a process, but it's up to the individual to exhaust this source of meaning. The park is the spatial expression of the temporal process of creation.
  • On the other hand, a person can use the different functions of the park merely in a physical way. It is a form of passive use.
  • Thirdly, a person is not obliged to use as in the sense of understanding it, or simply utilizing it; the park also serves as a pathway, which still gives an experience while walking across it.

All in all, there's no need for one to understand the concept of the park. It is an option, which one chooses to realize or not. Indirect space gives a person alternatives when considering spaces, which functions on all levels. The possibility of use lies in the hand of the visitor, where he is able to mould the spaces to conform to his needs.

Spaces are connected by their contiguity, yet each space has its own meaning which is defined by the visitor. In each of these there is one major element which gives meaning to the other elements and organizes the given space. It serves the function of the space- given by the user- and connects it with the other spaces in a conceptual and physical sense, directing the eyes from one place to the other. These indirect spaces cause the park's openness in two senses. Spaces flow into each other making one feel the wholeness of the park even in the smaller spaces, yet feeling the intimacy of them too. The clearness of the park helps in the realization of it.


Since the changes in 1989, Hungary has been facing an information overload; because of a visual excess within society people's perception, first visually and then externally, was subject to stress. People's stimulus threshold began to increase, and it seemed the only way to keep their attention was by enlarging and emphasizing outward physical effects.

On the other hand, as a consequence of the economic improvement, and the restructuring of society, civic and public demands have altered; existing modern urban public spaces were unable to serve these demands, and were unable to keep pace with the developments.

All together, this situation gave an obvious opportunity to establish indoor shopping centers- both in central and suburban districts-that can be built in a short period of time and also attract huge crowds. These centers are able to serve visual, consumer and cultural demands simultaneously.This leads to the de popularization of outdoor public centers, and people remain a passive passer-by.

To this problem we think a possible solution is to create outdoor cultural centers; in these, the first step is to discover the opportunity to find your personal function from the possibilities you locate in the particular part of the park, this way giving a final meaning to the elements organizing the space.

In the next step, you become the organizing power yourself; in this interactive part, you create your own space and give it a function- meanwhile, you are using it. In this way you become an active part of the park, serving your own visual demands.

Project Team

Gabor Lendvai, Dominika Tihanyi, Johanna Muszbek and Arpad Kovacs.










dates (competition/project/realization):

2000/ 2000/ 2001

capacity (site area of the park):

3.5 HA