Ignite Budapest #1 - The Roma Parliament and the Artists Garden
Tav aszmez ő -Artists Garden initiative The O bjective : to create a national Roma arts and culture center that would preserve significant historic architectural elements and reconnect and redevelop them , using a n inclusive community design process The site : the roma parliament building, its outbuildings and courtyard, and an adjoining (formerly connected) lot on József utca with artists’ studios and a sculpture garden The driving force : an informal coalition of roma civil activists, urban preservationists, environmentalists, community developers, landscape architecture and architecture students, collaborating in a community planning process
From the coalition’s mission statement: ...to keep the complex’s current functions (art, cultural and Roma advocacy) while at the same time expanding the functions with new artistic, cultural, advocacy functions that, within the framework of a new plan of use, would retain the historic value of the building complex and be suitable to the surrounding neighborhood. Further, The civil initiative’s higher goal is to promote Roma-Hungarian cooperation in the interest of Roma integration.
Tavaszmez ő utca 6, Roma Parliament building social, legal and cultural resources for the Roma community: Roma Parliament Hungary’s only permanent Roma contemporary art collection the editorial offices of Amaro Drom magazine Phralipe Association
Construction started in 1863 and included a small factory and horse stables. Additional stories and side wings were added throughout the 1890s, with the last small additions completed in 1948. The main building is in dilapidated condition but still retains most of its original architectural details.
József u. 37 – the studios and the sculpture garden
<ul><li>The apartment house and the one- and two-story studios were designed by architect Bela Seenger at the end of the 19th century. </li></ul><ul><li>Where the garden path now is originally were railroad tracks for transporting shipments of stone to the stone carving workshop that originally occupied the site. </li></ul>
After The stone carving workshop was closed down the workshops were rented to artists, many of them the most famous names of Hungarian 19th and early 20th century painting and sculpture. The garden features several sculptures by Martsa István , whose daughter Piroska still uses the studio today.
How the initiative began <ul><li>the municipality notified the Parliament that it was ending its lease on the building and it would be sold and demolished. </li></ul><ul><li>Initiated by V édegylet, several individuals, NGOs and institutions draft ed a letter urging the National Office of Cultural Heritage to save the site from sale and demolition by issuing it protected status. These included Clean Air Action Group, Corvinus University faculty of Landscape Architecture, the Association for Community Development, the Young Greens Association, and others. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Saint Joseph Collegium, a community design program affiliated with Budapest Technical University , joined the coalition . </li></ul><ul><li>The National Office of Cultural Heritage issued a temporary protection order last august , with final status to be determined </li></ul><ul><li>negotiations followed with representatives of District VIII municipality . At the end of 2008 the municipality gave the coalition six months to come up with a concept for the site, in cooperation with r év-8, the municipally-owned company carrying out an integrated urban rehabilitation in the neighborhood </li></ul>
The community planning process <ul><li>A series of five community meetings w ith students and instructors from the Budapest Technical University’s Saint Joseph Collegium a nd from the Department of Garden and Open Space Design, Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Budapest Corvinus University. </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings progress from the general to the specific, with the final result being a common vision for a new design uniting both sites </li></ul><ul><li>Participants include e mployees of the Roma advocacy organizations housed in the building, editors of the Amaro Drom magazine, and local environmental and preservation activists. landscape architecture students are each paired with architectural students, with the end result being four preliminary design proposals , for the built and the open-air environment. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The five planning meetings were attended by a team of about 20 including community members, students, instructors and municipal representatives. Discussions began with the site’s basic functions and then became increasingly specific, with each of the four design teams developing alternatives . </li></ul><ul><li>The four pairs of students displayed their conceptual plans on may 25. </li></ul>
Significance of the project for the community The project is still in its nascent stages, and the final decision of the cultural heritage authorities will influence the final outcome. Still, it is of great significance for many reasons : the resulting cultural center with its garden will be a new kind of community space , narrating the neighborhood’s history, the site’s artistic past, and the Roma arts movement. a collaboration among environmentalists, Roma rights workers, academics, preservationists, designers, municipal officials and others is unprecedented.
Significance of the project for design education <ul><li>The use of such a project as a teaching tool for student landscape architects and architects is pioneering in Hungarian design education. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the two design courses had existed individually for several years, the two groups had never collaborated before on a joint project. </li></ul><ul><li>The students’ conceptual plans are to be used as a visual argument to justify the site’s preservation and renewal. </li></ul><ul><li>For the students the project was a completely new social experience that enriches a variety of essential skills and will contribute towards a new generation of innovative and thoughtful designers. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Thanks for your attention! </li></ul>Kristin faurest, ph.d Instructor, Corvinus university faculty of landscape architecture Principal designer and consultant, artemisia landscape design www.artemisiadesign.com