A NEW GEM AMONGST CULTURAL INVESTMENTS
Nearly sixty cultural investments have begun across the country in the past few years. The reconstruction of the Roman Hall of the Museum of Fine Arts has been finished along with phase I. of the museum's restoration, as well as the renovation of the Erkel Theatre and the Music Academy. The reconstruction of the National Museum is currently ongoing, the Liget Project is under development and the State Opera House is about to regain its former glory. With the several years long investments, Budapest has become one of Europe's cultural gems.
The newly opened institution at Millenáris Park is not only a milestone for the dance profession, but also a significant investment in Budapest's cultural life. The multifunctional National Dance Theatre will welcome both local and international dancers with open arms.
A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING
The 6,950 m2 National Dance Theatre was transformed from the E building of Millenáris Park, which was originally home to the GANZ electric factory, then later functioned as a studio from the 2000's. As a result of the investment, the building received a new main facade and lobby, a great hall that can accommodate 368 people, a small auditorium for 120 people, two rehearsal rooms, a chamber hall and several changing rooms were created. The building is now home to a sound studio, which widens the artistic potential of dance productions, and the always open coffee shop in the new main lobby is a great place for a community hall.
The building lives up to the most modern technical standards and was specifically designed for dance performances with a 16x24 m stage. The company that was hired to design the mobile auditorium is a Hungarian company – which also made some chairs for the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York – and the small room has Red Dot Design prize chairs waiting for the audience.
THE ROOMS OF THE NATIONAL DANCE THEATRE
The new building of the National Dance Theatre was made based on the plans of ZDA – Zoboki Architects. The designers had two goals: to highlight the virtues of the industrial monument building, and to satisfy the many needs of the dance profession. The building got a main facade worthy of a theatre and a multifunctional lobby which creates a connection between the park and the building. The lobby which is open to the visitors of the park can also host smaller performances – the floor can be turned into a stage and the stairs can transform into an auditorium. Above the contiguous open space with no pillars can be found the „floating" small room. Due to its special engineering, the room hovers above the lobby like a truncated cone: the hall is being held by a 1,500 ton reinforced concrete structure containing nearly 200 tons of rebar, and the wooden ceiling was made with 13 thousand wood elements.
The centre of the building is a multifunctional theatre space that can accommodate 368 people and used to function as a studio. The hall is equipped with state-of-the-art theatre technology and is not only able to host all kinds of dance performances, but other types of events as well, such as a concert or a gala. The mobile chair system has the same kind of multi-functionality.
They designed the small room (for 120 people) in such a way that the audience can almost feel like they're part of the performance.
Two generously sized rehearsal rooms can be found in the building, one of which is equipped with mobile walls that can transform that space into multiple rooms. The ballet room serves all the needs of the 21st century, equipped with a modern suspension system that can hold up to six dancers. The chamber hall will be a great place for theatrical education as well as juvenile and recreational programs.
The goal all along was to transform the existing building according to the special needs of the National Dance Theatre. The works of the investment began in 2014. The winner for the implementation tender was ZÁÉV Construction Ltd. The overall cost of the investment was HUF 4.6 billion.
THE STORY AND DUTY OF THE NATIONAL DANCE THEATRE
The National Dance Theatre has served Hungarian culture as the centre of the dance scene since 2001. Its most important task is to represent and manage the national dance scene both in Hungary and abroad. The institution works with almost forty professional Hungarian companies. From folk dance to classical ballet, from social dance through contemporary dance and to interactive children shows, it wishes to keep the audience interested with a variety of genres. It hosts nearly 300 performances per year and yearly audience attendance is nearing 100.000 people.