Instead of a robust stadium we designed a new public park, a multifunctional building fitted into a green hillside that extends to the riverside promenade on the Pest side of the Danube. Our bold vision was awarded with the 3rd prize at the architectural competition for the new Budapest Athletic Centre.

The program was to design a 15,000-seat capacity athletic stadium that is expandable to 55,000 seats. The designated area is a 14.7-hectare plot, to the south of Rakoczi Bridge, on the Pest side, directly on the bank of the River Danube.

Our architectural proposal extends the existing promenade on the bank of the River Danube. Our concept is a ‘green wave’ that rises up from the river bank providing a new green surface for the citizens of Budapest. The new park joins to the green area planned on the northern end of Csepel Island and to the ‘green ring’ of Margaret Island – the City Park – the People’s Park. From the hill splendid views open up into the direction of the axis of the Danube and the whole Buda quarter on the opposite side.

The new stadium blends well into its green environment - a compact building fitted into its context.

The building is sunk into the ground; the hill is treated as part of the building, providing a unique appearance for the stadium. The graceful form created by joining the delicate arches of the hill and the western stand with the steel structure of the tensioned membrane roof emerges as a sculptural creature on the riverbank.

The stands enclose the athletic field to ensure the arena atmosphere in the stadium. The building can be extended to host 55,000 spectators by the erection of mobile stands and a roof on the existing platforms of the tribune. The mobile elements fit into the existing casing like puzzle pieces turning the view to an amazing and powerful athletic stadium.

The stadium functions and services are situated on four levels below the protruding western stand. Each storey is accessible from the park in the river bank that is a zigzagged by pathways and bicycle routes.

Players’ and operational areas are located on the level of the sports field. A wide entrance zone, restaurants and kiosks open up directly from the park on the main traffic level of spectators. VIP areas are situated on the upper levels and they are linked to the hillside as well. Due to the functional structure the services of the stadium can operate in two directions. They can serve the needs of spectators in the stadium during athletic games and they can be open in the whole year serving the guests of the park on their terraces that face the direction of the river Danube, thus providing a picturesque view and a unique atmosphere.

Project info

  • Project Name Budapest Athletic Stadium – architectural competition
  • Location Budapest, Hungary
  • Capacity 15 000 visitors, optionally up to 55 000
  • Project Year 2017
  • Tender KKBK Kiemelt Kormányzati Beruházások Központja
  • General Design BORD Architectural Studio
  • Head Architect Péter Bordás
  • Coordinating Architect Tamás Mezey
  • Architect Team Noémi Gyárfás, Zsófia Hompók, András Kéki, Dalma Kiss, Csilla Kracker, Artúr Lente, Balázs Móser, Györgyi Püspöki, Viola Tóth, István Ulmann
  • Visualization Holologue - Zoltán Ölbey