Budapest’s Ethnography Museum: Harmonious Design

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NAPUR Architect, a renowned architectural firm, proudly presents the new Museum of Ethnography in Budapest as a part of the prestigious Liget Budapest Project, Europe’s largest urban-cultural development. This award-winning building combines simplicity with dynamic lines, seamlessly blending with the park environment while establishing a strong connection with the surrounding urban landscape. With a rich history dating back to the 1896 Millennium Exhibition, the Museum of Ethnography now finds its true home in a modern and purpose-designed structure.

Architectural Design Concept

The visionary design concept by NAPUR Architect, led by Marcel FERENCZ, captivated the international jury with its elegant yet dynamic approach. The building’s gentle curves create a gateway and passage that harmonize with the natural surroundings of the park, forging a link between the city and the Museum. Notably, 60% of the structure is situated underground, ensuring the museum blends seamlessly with the park’s scale. The roof area, adorned with lush grass, doubles as a welcoming community space, greeting visitors to Városliget.

An iconic feature of the Museum of Ethnography is its glass curtainwall encompassing the landscaped roof garden. Resembling two intertwined hillsides, this distinctive element showcases nearly half a million pixels arranged in a metal grid. These pixels, laser-cut into aluminum cubes, represent a collection of ethnographic motifs derived from the museum’s Hungarian and international collections. This innovative application of technology, featuring contemporary reinterpretations of traditional designs, makes the Museum of Ethnography a truly unique architectural masterpiece.

Notable Features and Technological Solutions

The Museum of Ethnography boasts several remarkable technological solutions within its iconic design. The arched wings of the building are supported by a post-tensioned structure typically used in bridge construction. This application of technology represents a rarity in public buildings, not only in Hungary but throughout Europe. The combination of aesthetics and engineering showcases the museum’s commitment to innovation and excellence in architectural design.

Recognition and Awards

Acknowledged as one of the most captivating contemporary buildings in Europe, the Museum of Ethnography has received prestigious accolades. It was crowned the Best Mega Futura Project of Europe at the MIPIM Awards 2017 and earned the coveted title of World’s Best Architecture at the 2018 International Property Awards. Chosen from over 1,700 entries across 115 countries, the project was scrutinized by a distinguished judging committee chaired by four UK Lords and 80 global experts. These accolades serve as a testament to the museum’s architectural brilliance.

A Museum Designed for the Present and Future

The new Museum of Ethnography’s modern and state-of-the-art design accommodates diverse functions and flexible spaces, ensuring an engaging experience for visitors. Its purpose-built structure facilitates historical heritage preservation and presents various aspects of contemporary society. The museum embraces social dialogue, community engagement, accessibility, diversity, transparency, and sustainability as key elements in its operational philosophy. By creatively showcasing objects, phenomena, and ideas from both the past and present, the museum fosters a deeper understanding of human heritage.


The Museum of Ethnography in Budapest, designed by NAPUR Architect, represents a harmonious blend of architectural innovation and design concept. With its striking visual appeal, the building seamlessly integrates with the surrounding park environment while establishing a connection to the urban landscape. This iconic structure houses a diverse collection of artifacts, enabling visitors to explore the historical heritage of the Carpathian Basin and the world. Through its exceptional design and cutting-edge technology, the Museum of Ethnography stands as a testament to the power of architecture to inspire and educate generations to come.

Technical sheet

The new Museum of Ethnography – Budapest, Hungary
Architecture Design: FERENCZ, Marcel – NAPUR Architect Ltd.

Client: Városliget Ltd.
Client, Building owner: Museum of Ethnography

Built area: 33,000 m²
Site area: 100,000 m²
Design year: 2016-2018
Completion year: 2022
Typology: Cultural > Museum
Status: Built

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