With the official opening of the Palace of Arts on March 14, 2005, Hungary made a decisive case as the center for Central European culture and tourism.
The Palace of Arts is a multifunctional and extraordinary architectural construction. Situated along the banks of the Danube on the Pest side of the Lágymányos Bridge in Budapest, it is described by the Palace of Arts Co. as “a place where tradition and avant-garde can coexist and interact fruitfully, in all branches of the arts.”
The building’s design by Zoboki, Demeter and Associates and a 21st century technological backbone enable the staging of high quality and large-scale performances, bringing together various branches of the arts under one roof. Its permanent residents include the Ludwig Museum, the National Concert Hall, and the Festival Theatre. It is part of the Millennium City Centre, a major urban renewal development program in Budapest that includes the adjacent National Theatre.
The imposing Palace of Arts structure is made of a reinforced concrete skeleton and covers an area of 10,000 square meters. Client and main contractor on the project, Arcadom Co. Ltd., approached Martin Architectural’s Hungarian representative, LISYS Co. Ltd., to create a dynamic outdoor illumination solution on three sides of the building. LISYS proposed a color changing scheme using Martin Architectural’s range of Exterior luminaires.
On three sides of the building LISYS installed Exterior 600 fixtures on custom made poles 5 to 10 m high. Additional Exteriors of different types (Exterior 600, Exterior 600 Compact, and Exterior 200) are located on the roof to illuminate the upper cube of the building. Most of the Exteriors used on the project are equipped with extra wide angle optics. LED strips on the sides of the building break up the colors of the large surfaces and provide an additional element of playfulness.
As the fourth side (main entrance) of the building is covered in glass, Arcadom sought a dynamic indoor lighting solution to be synchronized to the outdoor colors. Martin Alien 02 full range color changers were chosen for those spaces of the building (foyers) visible from the outside through the main glass-wall. An extensive DMX network was installed inside and outside the building - outside with IP rated XLR connectors for fast servicing. A synchronized nighttime music and color sequence runs each hour until 2:00 am.
Unique to Central Europe, the Palace of Arts is committed to safeguarding and developing Hungary’s cultural identity. The project, created through an effective partnership between the public and private spheres, is a cultural investment unparalleled in modern Hungarian history.