Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ in Budapest

Post-Games Pergola

A spectacular feature of the Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ is that the roof will be completely preserved after the event – and will be converted into a covered public space.

The stadium is part of a huge plan to revitalise a former industrial site – with a park, a bridge and a training centre.

The Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ (National Athletics Centre) is a stadium which was opened in June 2023 in the Ferencváros district in the south of the Hungarian capital Budapest. It was built on the occasion of the 2023 World Athletics Championship to hold 40,000 seats. After the World Championship, the facility on the Danube will be reduced to 15,000 seats for reuse.

The planning was carried out by Napur Architect Kft Budapest, the roof by Buro Happold and schlaich bergermann partner (sbp).

The stadium is part of a huge plan to revitalise a former industrial site (Vituki). In addition to the stadium, this includes a park, a bridge and a new training centre, which can be reached via this new bridge.

A spectacular special feature is that the upper tier with its 25,000 seats will be completely dismantled after the World Athletics Championship, but the roof will be completely preserved – and converted into a covered public space.

Architect

Napur Architect Architectural Office Ltd.

Client

ÉKM

Athletics tracks & equipment

Mondo

On weekdays, a running track, a roller skating rink, a street workout park, a training area and a street food service will be available here.

So the legacy of this event is likely to be spectacular: the Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ forms the centre of the new park in the renovated industrial area, including the surrounding Danube bank area.

 In addition, Budapest will receive a new public sports and recreation park.

The stadium was built in the middle of the park. On weekdays, instead of the temporary upper tier, a covered and illuminated running track, a roller skating rink, a street workout park, a training area and a street food service will be available here.

The roof consists of a support structure based on the spoked-wheel principle, consisting of compression and tension rings, on each of which two video screens and display boards were hung at the edge of the roof in the curves.

Under the stands there is another running track, which can be used for warming up. All the running tracks are from Mondo.

All the running tracks are from Mondo. MONDOTRACK WS™ is almost half made of natural rubber and non-toxic, recycled materials. So it meets the strictest certification criteria for the emission of volatile organic compounds.

In addition to the 14,000 m2 running track, the other athletics equipment also comes from Mondo – for the first time in Budapest, it is tailored to the visual appearance of the event.

Address

Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ
Budapest
Hajóállomás u. 1
1095 Hungary

Opening

2023

In the future, the roof construction will form a kind of urban pergola, while the interior with its sports areas will serve as a publicly accessible urban space on the banks of the Danube.

The roof construction will be preserved after the competitions, as will the entire lighting, sound and scoreboard systems. This will make it possible to host major international events here in the future as well – with the help of mobile grandstands.

These mobile grandstands in the upper tier can accommodate up to 25,000 seats, but smaller capacities are also possible. In any case, these temporary structures will be dismantled again after future events, and the vacated area will be returned to grassroots sports.

The roof construction will then form a kind of urban pergola, while the interior with its sports areas will serve as a publicly accessible, urban space on the banks of the Danube and therefore in the heart of Budapest.

The 2023 World Athletics Championship from 19th to 27th August will be the biggest sports event ever held in Hungary.

After that, it will actually become even more exciting.

Photos

Text

Johannes Bühlbecker
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