Budapest Sports Arena
Skardelli György, Pottyondy Péter, Gáspár László, Lázár Ferenc, Szabados László
1143 Budapest, Stefánia út 2.
Budapest Award of Architectural Excellence, medal and award certificate, 2003
Completely reorganizing the block of buildings and the urban tissue, the Budapest Sports Arena (today Papp László Sports Arena) was built in the area bordered by Kerepesi út – Hungária körút – Stefánia út – Ifjúság út, on the site of the former Budapest Sports Hall, which burned down in 1999. In the composition three dominant components can be distinguished: the hall reminiscent of a huge gravel, the raised public plaza surrounding it, and the building elements that penetrate the plane of the square with crystal-like structures accommodating the service and circulation facilities.
The dominant mass of the ensemble is the multifunctional hall of lighter proportions, surrounded by and “sunk” in the plaza. The metallic aluminum cladding arrives to the top of the structure in a curved, unbroken form. The glazed main entrance plays a prominent compositional role in the streamlined mass, and the side entrances are withdrawn deep into splits of special shapes. The hall can be approached via bridges from the surrounding square, which is raised about six meters above street level. Enriched with water surfaces and green islands, the park provides a worthy (though slightly bleak overall) environment and access to the hall, at the same time elevates it away from the busy traffic hub. There is a car park under the ground floor, where supplier and service traffic also take place. The new bus station established along Hungária körút is also an integral part of the complex. The surface of the square is permeated by smaller and larger structures reminiscent of sharp crystals, serving for catering, exhibition, commercial and transport purposes. From the underground car parks, elevators and stairs lead to the plaza through these crystals. The Sports Arena is harmonious both in its exterior and interior appearance, and together with its surroundings it represents one of the best public buildings of its time.
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