• Hungarian National University of Public Service, Sports Center

Orczy Park is one of the most important green areas in the dynamically developing and diverse District 8 of Budapest, Hungary. The complex rehabilitation of the site started in 2012, resulting in a new campus for the Hungarian National University of Public Service. Embedded in an extensive garden, it integrates recreational, sports and community functions as well. We submitted our entry to the architectural competition that was announced for the sports centre, and it was awarded by the certificate of ‘honourable mention’.

The design reacts to the double demands of a public city park and a closed university campus in parallel operation. Various functions are united in the project, from sports facilities to the university’s student centre and other communal activities, so it is highly flexible and open for different events. Consequently, transparency and permeability were at the heart of our concept. Functioning on the site of an institution, but open to public use, the core of the design is a spacious, glazed entrance hall that is incorporated by a characteristic and iconic architectural gesture and it can be reached from all around the site.

In order to connect inside and outside amenities, all functions are organized under a large, floating roof structure, which marks the contour of the building without creating a strict border.

One of the key features of the concept is this inspiring space with the aim of encouraging interactions and creativity, as well as enhancing social life. The main entrance hall itself is suitable for larger events and celebrations. Due to its intense visual connection to outdoor areas, it can be interpreted as a continuation of the park, and its disability access makes it easy to reach for everyone. The indoor sport functions and the swimming pool are placed below the ground floor, under the main entrance hall. The ground floor of the building is therefore a clear space displaying only the strong, boldly inclined concrete elements of the staircase and the grandstand. The structural wall of the staircase, as an axis for vertical circulation, playfully serves as the support of a climbing wall.

Social and ecological sustainability are equally represented in the new design.

Through its skylights, the energetic roof structure lets scattered light into the building, while it avoids the heating and blinding effects of direct sunlight. The reduction of the building’s ecological footprint was an essential concern during the design process. Thus, we preferred locally produced materials with lower environmental impact. In order to achieve the most energy-efficient building possible, we designed a two-layered, climatically optimal facade system, which encloses a shading structure in-between.

Unbroken flow between indoor and outdoor areas was a high priority.

The building is surrounded by an outdoor recreational area, which works not only as a transition to the gardens, but with its plants and water surfaces, it also creates a pleasant microclimate and reduces the urban heat. By its uniform quality and elegant architecture, the sports centre is intended to blend into the ambiance of the new campus and to serve both its close and broad community.

Project info

  • Project Name Hungarian National University of Public Service, Sports Center
  • Location Budapest, Hungary
  • Project Year 2012
  • Tender National University of Public Service
  • General Design BORD Architecturel Studio
  • Head Architect Péter Bordás
  • Architect Team Róbert Benke, Tamás Tolvaj, Júlia Szendrői, Annamária Holovits, Tamás Mezey, Kata Zih
  • Visualization BORD Architectural Studio