New reference-project in Budapest

New reference-project in Budapest

The abundant brownfield lands of Budapest possess special potential in the green infrastructure politics of the Hungarian capital. The Millenáris Széllkapu Park completed in 2019 provides an excellent example for the development of these areas. The fact alone that one of the most valuable properties of the city has been used for urban green area development rather than some directly profit-oriented real estate development makes this project exceptional.

Beside the usual elements of urban landscaping, such as a multi-canopy park, lines of trees, hedges, potted plants, different forms of water-architecture and playgrounds, almost all technologies of our professional association are represented in this area as well – extensive, intensive and semi-intensive green roofs, different living walls and green facades. This latter one probably is the most interesting element for our community.

A green wall covered by different climbers has been built on a bridge-like structure which is ca. 150 meters long, and, at its highest point, 21 meters high. It has a three storied walkway which is all-accessible and is equipped with a panoramic elevator. The full surfaces on both sides of this installation are covered by plants. People can enjoy the visual and microclimatic effects of these two planted surfaces not only from outside of the structure but from the inside of it as well. This plant-covered industrial-style structure, other than hiding the out-of-date back facade of the neighboring shopping center from the direction of the park, acts as a social and resting space, as well as a walkway and a viewpoint, not to mention its ecological and aesthetic values. The area covered by climbing mesh is 4500 m2, which is only slightly behind the plant covered surface area of the MFO-Park in Zürich. Full coverage is realistically expected in 1-2 years. But how is this possible to achieve this in such a short time? In a nutshell, by multi-level plantation and pre-growth. The climbing plants have been installed on-site after a greenhouse pre-growth period where they were grown to the “still transportable” height of 2.7 meters. Furthermore, they are planted not only on the ground level but on three elevated root-zone levels. In this manner the coverage ratio was above 60% at the moment of the completion of the implementation works.

The plants’ healthy and dynamic future growth is guaranteed by a long-time maintenance contract and a sophisticated engineering infrastructure. The physiological needs of the plants are met at the highest level, their precise fertigation is provided by a fully automatized, greenhouse-level engineering complex. On top of that, a misting system helps minimize the unfavorable effects of atmospheric drought. The result, other than being beloved by the public, this project has quickly become a reference for professionals and an excellent education site for students.

Author: Ferenc Szentkirályi-Tóth