Budapest, Friday, 20 April 2018 (MTI) – The joint design by UNStudio and Buro Happold Engineering will be the blueprint for Budapest’s new bridge to connect South Buda and Csepel. The results of the international design competition for the new bridge over the Danube were announced in Budapest on Friday afternoon.
Of the 17 entries submitted for the design competition, the first prize has been awarded to the design submitted by the consortium of UNStudio and Buro Happold Engineering. UNStudio was the firm responsible for the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
According to the assessment of the Evaluation Jury, the design for the two-pylon stayed girder bridge, with three traffic lanes in each direction and the possibility of tramway transport, is the statically soundest proposal, which is also aesthetically pleasing, graceful, slim, well-balanced and one that best fits with the cityscape.
Before the official announcement of the results, Budapest Mayor Mr. István Tarlós said that the bridges of Budapest have a total daily capacity in excess of 600,000 vehicles and several hundred thousand persons. Apart from the ‘relatively low’ capacity of bridges, congestions in the city centre are also due to the throughput of the roads around the congested areas, he pointed out.
The Mayor noted that there weren’t enough crossing points in the northern and southern parts of Budapest. Ever since the union of Csepel and Budapest, i.e. for nearly seventy years, there has been no direct link, within the city boundaries, between the Buda districts and district XXI.
Therefore, in agreement and in cooperation with the Budapest municipal council, the government decided that preparations for the construction of a new bridge over the Danube, to connect Galvani utca and Illatos út, had to be started as soon as possible.
István Tarlós said that the new bridge over the Danube will create a direct link between the districts Újbuda, Csepel, Ferencváros, Kispest and Kőbánya. According to impact study data, the construction of the new bridge may reduce the daily traffic load by almost 40 thousand cars along the bridges in the city centre and by almost 8 thousand vehicles along Üllői út.
The Mayor added that, in addition to the practical benefit of the new bridge to be built on the basis of the winning entry, the bridge and its surroundings will hopefully also become a symbol of 21st-century Budapest.
He said that the government and the municipal council were committed to turning Budapest into an increasingly liveable, loveable and healthy city.
Balázs Fürjes, Government Commissioner for Major Budapest Developments and president of the jury selecting the winning entry, said that the board had faced an embarrassment of riches. The applicants did not make their job easier as they had all submitted excellent designs. A contract will be concluded with the successful applicant, which will be followed by the creation of the complete and detailed designs and the obtaining of permits. The process is expected to take 2 to 3 years.
He pointed out that, with the construction of the bridge, an old project will finally be fulfilled: ideas for a potential bridge first appeared back in 1985. Later, in 1992, a design competition was conducted by the city, which, however, ‘came to nothing’ at that time. Still later, the potential bridge also featured in the transport system development plan in 2001, he added.
Balázs Fürjes stated that action followed when, in summer 2014, the Budapest Municipal Assembly, headed by István Tarlós, adopted the city’s urban development strategy, declaring that preparations for the construction of the new bridge had to be commenced in 2017. The design competition was published last year, he pointed out.
Balázs Fürjes emphasised: the new bridge will connect three districts and thus, according to optimistic estimates, it will reduce the traffic load of inner city bridges by 55 thousand cars a day.
A shared second prize was awarded to the consortium of Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner, Zaha Hadid Architects, Werner Consult and Smoltzcyk & Partner and the consortium of Lavigne & Chéron Architects, Bureau d'Etude Greisch, Közlekedés Consulting Engineers and Geovil. The former created the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, whereas the latter are best known for the Terenez Bridge in France, the press release explained.
Three entries—those of the consortium of Knight Architects and Ove Arup & Partners, the consortium of SpeciálTerv, Pipenbaher Inzenirji and Bright Field Studios, and that of the Pont-TERV design office—were considered by the Evaluation Committee worthy for purchase.
According to a publication on the submitted entries, the successful applicant presented their design in the following words: ‘the stayed girder structure of a span of 220 metres preserves an unobstructed view on various levels while moving outwards from the city or towards the bridge; thus a new urban icon will be created, which will emphasise the development of Southern Budapest’.