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  • Walk through the Common Taste

    Main Street of Budapest City

    Design: Cecília Tóth, Éva Kovács, Lajos Koszorú
    Text: Anna Szabó
    Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

    The first phase of the New Main Street of Budapest Project has been completed by finalizing the designs for the area between Kálvin Square and Szabadság Square, resulting in a northern-southern axis redefined both functionally and traffic-wise. By banning transit transport and thus decreasing traffic here, a liveable urban environment has been created with streets resembling shop-windows but more lively than those of a pedestrian zone. Limitations introduced here do not make it impossible for the local dwellers to park their cars near their homes either on the surface or underground, and it still allows for parking with the aim to load goods necessary for services and trade. The model of Ráday Street is more viable and functioning than that of Váci Street. The sinking columns placed here guarantee that only buses of BKV (Budapest Transport Services) drive in certain areas and thus public transport is undisturbed, whilst the expansion of the functions of pedestrian zones and catering is not hindered by the increasing noise and pollution caused by motorcars and lorries. The transparent organization and order of the squares and the a wall-to-wall ornamental paving expose facades restored to their old glory, whilst items of street furnishing along the route function as scale-defining components encouraging people to use them with their unusual forms. Even though this contemporary style is alien here, it is far from being discordant without a change of of scales and rhythm, but by improving environmental conditions. Articulated by objects of a public place, the light limestone and granite facework connect spatial walls appearing as the architectural legacies of various periods with modest neutrality. Continuity present in the fabric of the city may be guaranteed by the quality of public space. However, the overall impression is that of an urban quality, in spite of all kinds of criticism.

    Main Street of Budapest City I.
    Design: Cecília Tóth, Éva Kovács, Lajos Koszorú – Közlekedés Kft., Főmterv Zrt., M-Teampannon Kft. Konzorcium
    Main contractor: Főutca Konzorcium (Reneszánsz Zrt., Bau Holding 2000 Zrt.)
    Client: Belváros-Lipótváros Városfejlesztő Kft.