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The Clef, Budapest, Hungary

3rd Prize, International Anonymous Liget Budapest Competition

The unique location of the project, in the middle of the City Park and away from the urban context, requires a strong gesture as an answer: A building that lives from its own energy through its own beautiful design. Our concept grows like a flower in the middle of the park, making people curious about its form and its content. What inspired us the most, was one of the sentences in the tender: “…metaphorically should music be turned into a building in the context of the 21st century…”
Our goal was to create something that has a strong identity and that could be seen as a sculpture standing in the middle of the park. We decided to make a building that simultaneously serves as a symbol, easily recognizable and unforgettable. A building that offers a lot of public space as well as providing an exciting interior. The organic form seems rather complex at a first glance, but through its complexity it offers various spatial experiences and gives the visitors the opportunity to discover the building from different angles and interact with music turned into “stone”.
We transformed music into architecture by looking at the typical annotation elements in music like the G clef or the F clef, which are also examples of visual representation of music. We started to develop a form inspired by these elements and details we could find in them. By creating two intertwined identical forms we created the closed part for the museum and the open public part for the open-air theatre. Instead of changing the existing landscape we wanted to preserve it as much as possible and integrate it into our concept. The two forms create a dichotomy of the void and fill space. The form also improves the acoustics and provides noise protection for the open-air theatre.
The two parts, beside the open and closed part, also create an object which doesn´t have a front or back, it shows the same dynamic and beauty from each of its sides and creates a balance with the beautiful nature of the park because we felt it really important for this building to be beautiful from every angle.
The open-air theatre provides a great concert space, but also serves as a place to rest and enjoy the view of the lake and the park. On the other side, the interior of the museum plays with the musical curves of the outer shell to create an interesting space for the visitors.

Architects: AVA – Andrea Vattovani Architecture
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Project Architect: Andrea Vattovani
Project Leaders: Igor Kolonic, Mario Keusch
Project Team: Anna Gruber, Anna Sucher, Fang Yi Chen, Samuel Foger, Martin Weinhandel
Structural Engineer + Façade Engineer: Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering
Landscape: Topotek 1
Sustainability + Building Engineer: Transsolar
Acoustic: Müller BBM DR. Mommertz

Renderings: Courtesy of Andrea Vattovani Architecture and Segnoprogetto