A major greenfield site in Hungary is to receive a 50 000m2 new-build shopping centre, designed by London consultancy JHP and Vienna architect A&GP.
The two groups presented schemes for the Tisza Park shopping centre as part of a six-way pan-European pitch. They were subsequently asked by site developer ASPIAG to combine aspects of their designs and work together on the project, says JHP managing director Steve Collis. They will design all aspects of the centre, from its architecture to interiors and graphic identity.
‘Although we don’t really push ourselves in the architecture market, interestingly the client preferred our architectural plan, but the principles of A&GP’s integration with the site, so they asked us to get together,’ explains Collis.
Tisza Park will be situated on the eastern banks of the Tisza river, running through the city of Szeged. It is being commissioned by shopping centre operator Spar Hungary, and comes as the Hungarian economy is showing strong growth, says Collis. ‘There is this big, open, green quarter of the city which is undeveloped,’ he says. ‘The chances of getting to work on a new architectural project on a greenfield site anywhere are slim; in England they are nil.’
JHP’s concept is for three separate buildings whose towers will emerge from above the treeline when viewed from the west of the Tisza river. The towers are intended to echo the spires of Szeged’s traditional architecture.
The centre will be flanked by two ‘anchor tenant’ constructions: a curved, timber-clad building is likely to house one or two fashion retailers, and a metal-panelled area on the opposite side will contain major white goods and electrical brands. The whole development will be partially submerged and is designed to be ‘grown into’ by the trees and plants surrounding it, says Collis.
Spar Hungary will also develop outdoor leisure areas such as an amphitheatre, picnic zones and riverside walks, located behind the centre and towards the banks of the river.