Budapest, Hungary, 2002

The competition is taken as an opportunity to investigate the boundaries between artificial and natural, figure and background, architecture and landscape: a sense of suspension and quietness, found at this particular point of the river Danube where the now abandoned landing place defines a particular and intense connection between natural and artificial, becomes the leading aspect of the design.

The proposal is for a building set orthogonally to one of the main axis of the campus, on the south bank of the river Danube and is conceived as two separate timber containers floating within a crystal box, in order to create a vast plaza at ground level with uninterrupted views of the river and the natural reserve on the opposite island of Hajógyári-Sziget.

The elevated conference rooms are connected via a series of ascending and spiralling ramps, a direct reference to the promenade architecturelle devised by Le Corbusier, in an attempt to devise a strategy that would allow any visitor a tailored experience of the structure, while maintaining a constant visual relationship with the surrounding nature. A new relationship can be then established with the landscape, which becomes an integral part of the building.

On the east façade a jardin d'hiver encloses a grove of mature silver birches to create a green wall, enclosure of the surrounding landscape, and becomes the setting for the cafeteria open to the decked terrace.