BUDAPEST ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDEN, GREAT ROCK (NAGYSZIKLA) RECONSTRUCTION, NIGHT GARDEN CONCEPT 1997
The Great Rock - originally built between 1909 and 1912 - is one of the earliest and largest artificial rocks with reinforced concrete structure in the word. The conversion of the almost 40,000 cubic meter interior space of the rock into an exhibition space was part of the original design concept, but it could only be realized 100 years later. The first step in this process was creating the concept of the Night Garden.
“Mountain “A” imitates a limestone formation with a dolomite summit. We intend to infuse and direct the natural light inside the artificial rock as water enters and infiltrates a limestone mountain (swallet/light absorber, dripstone/light drop). Due to the unique light conditions, the interior of the artificial rock imitates a garden, under full moon...”
/excerpts from the architectural description/
Péter Kis, Gábor Turányi
Visualization by: Zsolt Alexa
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 From 1907 to 1912, the completely outdated facility was fundamentally reconstructed; then, after nearly 90 years of “use”, a longer process has started: over an about 25-years period, the Garden had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: