Worldwide spectacle to be built in BudapestMarch 18th, 2016
An artificial hill is planned to be elevated behind one of Budapest’s most important junctions, the Nyugati Railway Terminal. The designated lot – as big as 20 acres and reaching as far as the Budapest Zoo – is planned to give place to a special park, which can also potentially raise the prestige of neighbouring areas and districts. The property rights are held by three organisations, the possible expenses of the project are currently being calculated, as reported by Hungarian newspaper Népszabadság.
The Hungarian government is aspiring to create a local, unique, Central Park-esque spectacle in the heart of Budapest, according to architect József Finta. The area would encompass – among other facilities – an artificial hill, a dinkey line, a waterfall, quiet spots to relax, and of course, cafés and restaurants with a lovely promenade. Naturally, children are an important factor in the creation of the complex, thus the plans heavily involve those of a younger age: playgrounds, an interactive playhouse and a petting zoo would function to serve the enjoyment of kids, and most importantly, plenty of green areas.
The planned territory of 20 acres would be obtained by covering the unused railways. The 10-acre area lying next to Podmaniczky street is currently a plain lot, which forms an 8 metres difference in level with the other, designated half of the future park. This condition is meant to be compensated by the construction of several terraces, buildings, and using the benefits of landscape architecture, so that the entirety of the area would appear as an organic whole. According to plans, buildings are also to be erected in the outskirts of the park, which can also potentially serve as museums in the future, by showcasing collections pertaining to the field of natural science.
According to recent ideas, the station (designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel) itself would hold only a couple of railways, the rest of them are to be traced back behind the terminal. Service facilities are also to be formed there, while the rest of the interiors would function as a communal area, somewhat serving as a special gateway to the park. The first drafts and plans have been already presented to the government, which were met with approval, but were also required further development, and more accurate calculations about the expense-revenue ratio were commanded to be made.
There’s a proposition of taking the railways underground – which Mr. Finta considers a plan too expensive, a solution which has only been executed in the richest metropolises of the world. Other cities, such as Helsinki and Oslo, have decided to cover the railways. The technology has been successfully applied in Budapest as well, namely in case of the construction of WestEnd City Center and its rooftop garden, which makes the magnitude of the expenses easily estimable. According to the Clean Air Action Group’s early calculations, compared to the 200 billion forints that the project Liget Budapest required to be executed, the new Nyugati Liget can be funded from a mere 60 billion.
The area behind the Nyugati Railway Terminal is one of the city’s most valuable investment properties, which is simultaneously owned by the Hungarian state, MÁV (Hungarian State Railways Company), and the General Assembly. The lot belonging to the General Assembly of Budapest classifies as a part of the (economic) capital, and as such, is prohibited to be built on, while several other segments and parts have a much more complicated property and land use history. Gránit Management, a successor of TriGránit, a company pertaining to the interests of Sándor Demján, holds the land use permits of the territory, for instance.