The reconstruction of the Museum of Applied Arts has been a relevant topic for decades. Both the building and the museum are dominant and unavoidable elements of the Hungarian cultural and architectural heritage, restoration and expansion requires extraordinary intellectual and financial aspects. Perhaps that’s the reason why the actual implementation took so long. There have been known governmental intentions and decisions since 2012. As the winners of the 2012 international competition, our studio had the right to finish the design. The first building permit was issued in September 2013, while after a break of a few years and a change of management, a new building permit was issued and the final design was completed by the end of 2018. This was revised and redesigned, with the new permit and execution plans being delivered in 2021. The restoration of the original Lechner appearance was fascinating and instructive using the restaurateurs’ exploration, as well as harmonically placing the new contemporary elements fitting the modern-day use. The purpose of the reconstruction was to restore the original Lechner building – as the museums No. 1 artwork -, while finishing and completing the museum’s layout with a contemporary service building wing on Hőgyes Endre utca in the place of the unbuilt mass that besides serving as an entrance allows the depot of the modern technical equipment, ensuring the creation and organization of a modern museum.

The basic aim of the reconstruction is to preserve the original Lechner building, as the museum’s main artwork, while in the Endre Hőgyes Street, on the site of the original unbuilt wing, it was the construction of a service wing which, together with a new entrance, will allow the installation of modern technical equipment and complete the museum’s layout, ensuring the creation and operation of a modern, contemporary museum. As part of this, the plans included the following specific measures:

  • significantly increase the number of exhibition spaces, including the number and size of exhibits, that can be possible on the first and second floors’ liberated spaces and the new buildings third floor premises.
  • increasing public areas, replacing missing units like the shop, cafeteria, cloakroom and public washrooms, furthermore introducing a new temporary exhibition space and conference hall incorporating the court and the space under the main hall, resetting the first-floor terrace, redefining the inner court and opening it up to the public.
  • clearly define the visitors’ path from arrival to exit, ensuring unnecessary crossing and multiple entries.
  • ensure the main hall’s differentiated use

Our purpose was to create a lovable community area, and to introduce the world-renowned art collection in this museum building carrying one of a kind architectural value and which is related to the present day. However, construction is yet to begin…