Városmajor Open Air Theatre Competition
Location: 1122 Budapest, Városmajor
Client: Open Space Theatre Ltd & Budapest 12th District
Scale: 5.800 m2
Designers: LAB5 architects | Linda Erdélyi, András Dobos, Balázs Korényi, Virág Gáspár Anna | Urnukh Darizav, Zoltán Kozma, Dávid Páncsics, Rebeka Sipos, Bálint Szelezsán
Theatre-technolgy: Tamás Dóra
Visuals: LAB5 architects
Városmajor Park is a valuable and historical green area in the Buda side of the capital. The original open air theatre was built in 1952 and is very popular for its summertime events. During the competition we had the task to examine the exact location and program, taking into account not only the expectations of a modern and contemporary theatre, but also protecting the green areas and the locals from the neighbourhood.
We applied two coordinate systems in our design. The volume of the new theatre “building” follows the organisation of the two nearby churches standing in the park – this approach is symbolic, since the “meaning” of these buildings is similar too. The path of the park penetrates and crosses the new building at its lowest point with an easy walking surface, so we handle the existing structure of the park respectful.
The experience of the viewers of the theatre is based on openness. They literally feel sitting in the green area. The surface of the whole park can be integrated into the play. During the spectacle the arriving actors can jump or drive into the stage. The bell tower of the churches, or the distant trees can host sound and light effects or other events that are part of the show.
During the bigger part of the year this building doesn’t work as a theatre, but is open to the users of the park. The auditorium doesn’t have a fence, anyone can walk and sit here, use it as a viewpoint, or bunch up with friends. The ground floor public functions are open all year round, beside the toilet and the restaurant we placed here extra functions, such as info point, bike rental, playground, ticket office, café, lockers, mini shop.
The blurred mirror glass facades helps the building to dissolve into the park. These mirrors also reflects the inner content, the mystic world of the theatre, framing the inside with a magic wall.