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Budapest, Extension of the Zoo's Main Entrance Building 2003

BUDAPEST ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDEN, EXTENSION OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE BUILDING 2003
The main entrance building of the Zoo was designed at the turn of the 20th century by Kornel Neuschloss-Knüssli, professor at the Budapest University of Technology. The original plans presented a building with wings closed towards the Gundel Restaurant but opening up towards the park on the other side.
The detailed urban plan of the area - accepted just before the project began - allowed the possibility to redefine the building with symmetrical design. With the new extension, we attempted to complement the building in a way to offer different views and connections from and to its environment: arriving through the main entrance, the new wing becomes part of the vegetation; looking out from inside the building through the perforated façade feels like contemplating from inside a grove; while approaching from inside the zoo, guests are received by a garden pavilion.

Péter Kis, Tamás Ükös
Photo by: Attila Polgár

The Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden was opened for the public in 1866, and has undergone two dramatic changeovers during the last hundred years. From 1907 to 1912, the completely outdated facility was fundamentally reconstructed; then, after nearly 90 years of “use”, a longer process has started: over an about 25-years period, the Garden had been almost completely renovated, upgraded, and reconstructed according to modern zoo standards.
In the comprehensive renewal program, several architect studios were commissioned for the different projects; our studio’s first task was to prepare the plans for the Katta Monkey House in fall 1993. This first commission was followed by a number of increasingly complex tasks: after designing several pavilions, reconstructions, and renewals, we had the opportunity to prepare the reconstruction plans of the Great Rock, and the plans for the intended Zoological Museum in the interior of the rock. The reconstruction and expansion works of the zoo buildings received the ICOMOS Prize in 2009.
Over this 20-years cooperation period, our studio has prepared reconstruction and renovation plans, and original concepts and designs for the following projects:
- House of the Katta Monkeys
- Bonsai Pavilion
- Night Garden
- Japanese Garden reconstruction and Meditation Pavilion
- Cave Cinema and the Small Rock (Kisszikla)
- Main Entrance Building reconstruction and extension
- Monkey-house reconstruction (Bambi House, House of Small Rodents, Squirrel House)
- Giraffe House reconstruction
- Great Rock (Nagyszikla): plan, model No.1, No.2, No.3
- Owl Castle, Vivarium, Otter House, Dairy Hall, Bison House

ATTILA POLGÁR  BUDAPEST  COVER  EXTENTION  GLASS  PÉTER KIS  PUBLIC BUILDING  REALIZED  RECONSTRUCTION  TAMÁS ÜKÖS  TIMBER  ZOO