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Nick Sierros


The Citadella in Budapest, Hungary has been a negative symbol since its construction. Repurposing and refurbishment are long overdue as most of it has minimal historical value, fallen into disrepair and is disused. Economic problems cripple the current occupants, a Nazi bunker museum and a restaurant. This is also the only point in Budapest where panoramic views feature the whole city, but the limited access and lack of shelter shun people away. The opportunity to bring new life into the Citadella is high, especially with the Hungarian government increasing access by recently formalising plans to build a funicular.

3 new programs will occupy the Citadella. An armoury because of Hungary’s rich weaponry history and there is no armoury amongst the country’s museums. A fencing club because Hungary is one of the world’s best with over 300 fencing clubs and its mutual theme with the armoury. Thermal baths because of the nearby thermal waters and they would be the only thermal baths in Budapest offering panoramic views, whilst functioning day and night.

Only the fortification walls, cannon tower and arches are of value and retained. The rest is excavated. Behind the Iron Curtain and oblivious to the west, Hungary’s modern architecture is more unusual and vernacular. The cellular grid structure is inspired by Hungarian vernacular styles and orientated to fit maximum cells. Each floor’s spaces are designed modularly through the cellular grid structure, in conjunction with the spired and pyramid roof above. The armoury’s spaces are arranged in a timeline format and the spas are in conjunction with the roof spires. The roof is an interpretation of Hungary’s old forms and new vernacular styles, providing weather protection against sun, rain, wind and snow, ventilation for the thermal baths and shelter for those capturing the panoramic views. The program spatialisation is inspired by a Rubik’s Cube with an established central access point and evenly spaced cores and voids.



















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