Library of a Nation

︎ Budapest, HU

The Castle District has always been an important venue for Hungarian history. It is the highlight of national memory, dominant, sacred, political, and last but not least, a defense center for over 800 years of history. In the heart of the centuries-old symbolic and cultural center of Hungary, between the area of the late city and palace, since the Second World War, the St. George Square has been disorganized. The area that has once played a central role has now lost its identity. Our plan is to account for this loss and to give radically new quality to St. George Square and its related areas and building blocks by fixing and filling in the holes and spatial limitations imposed since the Second World War.

When the National Library of Hungary was moved into the Palace the building was brought into a dissonant position - and neither then, and especially now, the basic needs of a public library of national significance of the 21st century are met by the current infrastructure. In 1982, when the library was moved there, it swiftly became apparent that the National Library was not architecturally and technically able to function in the old palace building. The library of the nation is therefore currently locked and hard to access for the public, and it functions more like a safe, than an open public institution. This is in direct conflict with the modern libraries that are increasingly open, multimedia public institutions that make it easy for the masses to access and transparently acquire the formal and informal knowledge accumulated there.

We therefore propose a new building that brings a function to the square become a living part of the fabric of the city, an integral part of it, not a tourist attraction.



Team Competition phase
Marcell Szottfridt
Mathias Bank
Zoltán Kalászi