The Castle Garden Bazaar in Budapest was registered a world heritage in the year of 1987. With its rich history stretching from 1875 up until today, the building complex has been known to be one of the most visited places in Hungary.
The Castle Garden Bazaar was originally designed by Miklós Ybl in honor of Queen Elisabeth of Hungary, with the purpose to create a border to the Castle Garden and thus paint a wondrous imageof the royal palace in the cityscape.
Years later, when the medieval reconstruction followed after the Second World War, The Castle Garden Bazaar was reinterpreted and redesigned by Studio KÖZTI to fit modern times.
Architect Ferenc Reitter was the first one to present the idea of the border abutting the Castle Garden and Miklós Ybl, Hungary’s most renowned architect in the 19th century, was commissioned to design the building complex. Following in the footsteps of Reitter, Ybl made sure to involve significant artists and craftsmen in the construction work in order to make the Italian Renaissance vision come true.
The result was a magnificent monument, flanked by the former living quarters of the royal guards on the north, and the two apartment buildings on the south, with rows of bazaars in-between followed by two-storied pavilions with open chambers and a double domed Gloriette. Stepped ramps were leading to the promenade of the garden terrace on both sides and lions were set to guard the main entrance stairway.
During WWII, the development of the Castle Garden was damaged. Hence, in the post-war period, Studio KÖZTI were tasked to prepare the reconstruction of the monument, eager to resurrect the medieval fortifications and bring the Neo-Renaissance building back to life.
By allowing for a mixture of materials and style, KÖZTI has managed to create a seamless merge between the past, the present and the future. The combination of the traditional curved brick wall with the COR-TEN® clad elevator towers and canopy structure has given the multifunctional building complex a genuine, yet contemporary aura.
Today, the main entrance hall is fronted by the Niche Pavilion and the original curved brick wall of the bazaar, which shows the artistry of the 19th century’s craftsmen. The reconstructed historical garden can either be accessed through the elevator which is located in the middle of the entrance hall, or by the Elisabeth Stairs. The divisible event has the ability to host 900 to 1200 people and as Studio KÖTZI puts it, it is like “an acoustic box, independent from its environment, with mobile stands and programmable pixel screens on the lateral walls.”
In order to cater to the needs of the many people who long to visit the monument, Studio KÖZTI has redesigned the building complex and built a multi-story car park from the parking garage under the event hall. Connected rows of bazaars accommodate food- and beverage places and the residential buildings at the two ends of the complex function as exhibition halls. Through the Water-Carrier Corridor, a hidden route of ascent is running behind the Staircase Pavilion and the express lift that goes to the top of the southern curtain wall on the palace level can be reached from the escalator located at the top of the corridor. Furthermore, a café pavilion has been implemented at the hill and The Royal Guard Palace also offers a space for young people. Studio KÖZTI has managed to preserve the historical heritage, yet made the Castle Garden Bazaar a place for everyone to experience.
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