Sou Fujimoto’s House of Hungarian Music in close symphony with the surrounding trees

Image Courtesy- SFA

The House of Hungarian Music designed by Sou Fujimoto architects is approaching completion by the end of 2021. The project, being built in the capital of Hungary is part of Europe’s largest urban cultural development program- ‘Liget Budapest’. It also goes on to become the world’s first facility of complex musical education. 

The design was selected from an anonymous competition which received 168 entries in the year 2014 and Fujimoto conceived an idea of blending the outdoor and indoor environment to further develop an intimate connection of spaces, people and sounds. The building features an organic roof structure inspired by the visual representation of a sound wave in addition to the transparent glass walls that tried to bring in openness, visibility and transparency throughout the design. 

“Underpinning the spectacular and unmistakable sight of the House of Hungarian Music is a host of design and engineering solutions unprecedented in Hungary. There are no right angles in the roof structure, almost no two elements that are the same. It is all unique and the surface is punctured by close to 100 individually designed holes for the trees of the park to emerge through; moreover, one of the innovative solutions was also installed in these openings: the lightwells begin here, which channel the light right down to the lowest levels, thus helping to illuminate the interiors and create a unique ambience.” – said Sou Fujimoto. 

The building includes a three-level layout: for conducting permanent and temporary exhibits in the level below ground along with a remarkable sound dome; the park level devoted to performing arts wherein live events will take place in the concert halls and the open-air stage, while the terrace near the City Park Lake will be a place for recreation; the level above will house an archive of Hungarian pop music, serving as a source of quiet immersion in music and education.

Conceptualising the framework to be something far beyond what a museum conventionally is, the design sensitively holds history and future, people and culture, nature and sciences to create spaces that are inviting and embracing while also being surprising. 

Being rated as exemplary by BREEAM- (the world’s leading international sustainability assessment method) 120 heat pumps were installed 100 metres underground in a small area of the City Park, called Nagyrét to provide renewable geothermic energy while also having a tele cooling system. The glass wall of the facade consists of 94 custom-manufactured heat-insulated panels and the floating roof structure is punctured by approximately 100 individually designed holes for the trees of the park to unfold from where the lightwells begin, directing the light down to the basement levels and leading to the illumination of interior spaces.  

The House of Hungarian music would therefore be one of the first major completions of the Liget Budapest Project and will be followed by the SANAA-designed National Gallery of Hungary and the skateboard-ramp-shaped Museum of Ethnography designed by Hungarian firm Napur Architect.

Text by Nikitha Sunil, Contributor- Architecture+Design

Project Info:

Name: The house of Hungarian Music

Designer: Sou Fujimoto

Site Area: 10,608 sqm

Building Area: 2,568 sqm

Total floor Area: 10,819 sqm

Status: Nearing completion by end of 2021