Urban Oasis

Urban Oasis
Móricz Zsigmond körtér, Budapest
Újirány Csoport
architecture: Julia Boromissza, Zsofia Koczka and David Balo
landscape: Katalin Lukacs, Dorka Thurnay and Arpad Kovacs

This project is based on the famous quote of David Brower "Think globally, act locally." The site is located at one of the most crowded traffic junctions of Budapest.

An old transit building is given that lost its function and stands in the middle of the square like an old man not taking care about the vastly changing life around. As the square has changed a lot in the past 50 years, the building has to rebirth to take the new challenges of the 21th Century.

Our project wants to respond the biggest problem of today's people, the lack of green environment. We wanted to create an urban oasis that takes place in the building-desert and provides protection, fresh air and basic facilities for travelers and local people.

We found it important to set a precedent for the city on using alternative resources and recyclable materials in an urban context.

The construction itself is flexible: the established modular system of mobile walls enables to freely shape the structure of the building and its functional setup at low construction time and costs. The material of these mobile walls is a semi-transparent strong fabric/textile which is easy to anchor to the existing columns of the old building.

The building is covered with a transparent, pressure-inflated double layered foil system that is filled with the permanent heat air of the metro tunnel. It means that during summertime it cools the space below and wintertime helps to reduce the costs of heating. This light structure is anchored to the existing roof.

We focused on making a local-specfic solution, using local renewable resources like the solar, eolic and geothermic energies, rainwater, or the permanent heat air of the metro tunnel which is just few meters under the building.

We also kept in mind to use human resource, making people give back a bit of their energy to their environment. As an important junction, crowds of people cross the square day by day, and based on this we put piezoelectric materials on the staircases to harvest green energy.

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2009