This is the first phase of a campus masterplan for the Central European University. The project changes the relationship of the university to the city. Phase 1 provides a public face for the university, a new entrance on axis with the Danube, auditorium, classrooms and learning café for citizens and students. The campus becomes integrated with the urban realm.
The brief was to design a new 35,000sqm Campus on a World Heritage site in central Budapest, incorporating all university departments and facilities. The scheme involves the radical transformation of five adjoining, previously disconnected, historic buildings and the construction of two new buildings.
The new building on Nador Utca forms the main entrance to the University. It houses the library and learning commons over a multi-purpose auditorium and conference facilities. The adjoining building is radically refurbished to provide a covered courtyard for public events, with a business school and teaching spaces at upper levels. A roof garden straddles both buildings to provide views over the city skyline.
The palette of materials has been selected for their endurance and natural material qualities that give character to the overall appearance. Stone, timber, concrete and steel form the fabric of the internal public spaces, with bespoke furniture used throughout the building. The new facades are constructed with local limestone, designed to emphasise the geometric quality of the building and continuing the tradition of solidity and permanence of the Budapest stone architecture.