Hungarian House of Music
In 2022, the Architecture MasterPrize was awarded to Japanese studio Sou Fujimoto Architects. Their innovative project, the Hungarian House of Music, is immersed in nature, surrounded by the main park of Budapest.
The Architecture MasterPrize organises four annual programs. Design of the Year is awarded for single projects, created in the last five years, for individuals and teams who have proven excellence in three categories: Architecture, Anterior design and Landscape design. Of the top three prizes, the most relevant is the Architectural Design of the Year, this time won by Sou Fujimoto for his museum project.
On January 2022, the House of Music opened in the central City Park of Budapest. It is a brand-new cultural landmark, dedicated to the creation of music and sound.
It provides a unique artistic experience combining landscape, architecture and exhibition design to offer visitors new perspectives on music making and its impact on our lives.
The ambitious architectural project is led by star Japanese designer, Sou Fujimoto and is part of Europe’s largest cultural development: the Liget Budapest Project.
They transform the experience of culture, establishing new leisure opportunities and green areas such as the City Park. It includes the renovation and creation of cultural institutions.
There is perhaps no other cultural area where Hungarian artists have made a bigger impact than in music. A number of Hungarian composers and musicians have made their mark on the universal language of music.
Among others, the most outstanding are: Ferenc Liszt, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, György Ligeti and Zoltán Kocsis.
And yet, until now, the country had no centre to provide a comprehensive overview of the treasures of their legacy in the global context of music history.
The House of Music, in Hungary, is a unique and complex institution of musical initiation and the venue for the country’s first comprehensive exhibition presenting the History of Music.
The iconic building, designed by Japanese star Sou Fujimoto was selected from among 170 international projects. The announcement attracted massive attention in international professional circles. In 2021 it was listed by CNN and the World Architecture Community, as one of the ten most anticipated new buildings of the year. The final result did not disappoint: a truly contemporary architectural masterpiece has come into being.
Its organically undulating canopy punctured with holes as well as its extensive, horizontally undivided glass walls, make it an inimitable visual landmark.
The innovative exterior is coupled with a complex institution initiating children and adults into the world of music. With a wide range of events, it provides numerous musical experiences to the public, all year round.
The House of Music was built in 2001, on the former site of a dilapidated and unused office complex, which had been an eyesore here, in the heart of the City Park, until 2016. It had been a closed off and neglected ’”green’”area of seven thousand square metres for decades.
Fortunately, now, the green grounds have also been rehabilitated and the surroundings of the new building are open to all music and nature lovers.
Hungary is famed for its extraordinary musical heritage. And yet, no multi-faceted exhibition presenting the history of their music in the context of Europe had been hosted in any institution exhibition before this one.
The permanent exhibition of the House of Music in Hungary presents the History of Music from the development of the human voice to modern trends. The show places special emphasis on Hungarian music and its diverse history. The main audience for the institution are children, parents, teachers and young adults.
This is a broad spectrum of visitors who may not have any particular musical expertise and are unlikely to frequently attend classical music concerts. This “Palace of musical miracles” was founded on special installations and technical solutions.
The museum show makes it possible to experience, first hand, the foundations of musical harmony and the physiology of perceiving sound. The exhibition provides every visitor with a genuine sense of joy.
The Hungarian House of Music is constructed next to the Varosliget Lake near a fairy tale looking historic building, the Vajdahunyad Castle.
It is overlooking the ice rink on the site of the disused and now demolished buildings of the Hungexpo offices. They were a blight on Budapest City Park for decades.
Sou Fujimoto designed an almost entirely translucent and environmentally friendly building. He aims to establish a harmonious transition between the natural and man-made world. According to him, it is a major dream for any architect to design a modern museum.
For Fujimoto, the House of Music embodies everything that makes today’s museum architecture exciting. A conventional exhibition space is no longer sufficiently attractive. It needs to be combined with other functions, such as performance halls and learning spaces.
The House of Music has a an absolutely brilliant multi- media exhibition of the History of Music in a Hungarian context. Taking us from the beginning of time, right through to today’s music scene.
The vision is to bring the experience of music to life through the interaction of nature, sound and light.
No wonder it is situated in a very musical city: Budapest. It was and continues to be an historic centre of music in Europe, for both classical repertoire and modern, as well as for Hungarian folk traditions.
The Music House hosts a range of live music from classical to folk, pop to jazz, alongside exhibitions and education programmes designed to create opportunities for anyone to play, enjoy and experience music.
Audiovisual presentations with plenty of sound, explain the music made by humans as well as the rhythms of nature.
Extraordinary interesting for its continent and its content, the House of Music is an exceptional piece of modern architecture inside out. It is a beautifully designed building, well worth a visit to Hungary, a land of wonders.
The 2022 Architecture MasterPrize, was fairly awarded to Sou Fujimoto Architects for their House of Music in Prague. AMP honours designs in the disciplines of architecture, interior design and landscaping with the goal of advancing the appreciation of architecture worldwide.